"Dad, it's the last day of the summer camp. Did you get any of the kids to commit to coming to our school to play?” Michael Riley said, looking up to his father as they sat in the stands, then turning his head to watch the final moments of the last scrimmage basketball game of the summer basketball camp.
The thirteen-year-old Michael watched intently as a muscular boy jumped over another kid, dunking the ball in the basket. He hung on the rim and pointed to the school coaches in the stands that were watching him play.
“Only six them showed up, and with all these schools here, there was no way I could even get a chance to talk to the kids. If all fourteen of them came, maybe we’d be able to get one without as many coaches swarming them. I'm at a loss.” Coach Mitchell Riley, Michaels's father, sighed as he watched longingly at the muscular kid as he responded.
Michael held back a smile when hearing the news from his father. He wanted to be the star of the team, so not getting a member of The Experts was ideal for him. The overwhelming skill of these fourteen new students would surely overshadow the skill of Michael.
"We have room for one or two, dad. I'm sure you can convince them.” Michael’s tone was serious, but in the back of his mind, he was hoping that his own words were false.
As the father-son duo watched, a tall boy shot a three-pointer, only to get his shot blocked by a triplet. The coaches in the stands clapped at the display of defensive awareness, which caused the boy shooting to look down in embarrassment.
“We’re at an even greater disadvantage considering our school. Why would any of them want to go to an academically dominated school that requires athletes to get exceptionally great grades while they play, and having almost no success in school history for basketball?” Coach Riley spoke with clear defeat already in his tone. Of course, he had no faith, especially against the more accomplished athletic schools, but he still had to try to recruit one of those Experts so that his son has a chance to continue playing basketball.
Coach Riley was the new coach that volunteered to lead the basketball team of Montville High School, the home of the Montville Mustangs. Montville was a school located in Southern Ontario, Canada, and was the school where Michael Riley would be starting his grade nine year in the fall. However, if Coach Riley didn't find success in at least one of the pre-season tournaments, the school would be shutting down the team, deeming it a waste of funding, similar to what happened to many of their other sports teams over the past few years. Furthermore, Michael’s mother refuses to have Michael join any other school, wanting him to graduate from the top academic school, valuing education over extracurricular activities.
The final buzzer soon sounded on the last game in the summer basketball camp. Of the 50 young recruits, school coaches flocked to the six main attractions of the camp. six of the newest sensations in basketball, The Experts. A group of kids from a town that nobody knows about, with no sports at their school. But, one day, a pro basketball player came by the town and saw twenty young boys sitting around looking for something fun to do. That's when he decided to teach them all about basketball. That was eight years ago, and now they’re all ready to enter high school, all to play basketball. With the pro advertising them as some of the most promising rookies he ever saw, high schools flocked to try to acquire at least one of the talents.
“Alright,” Coach Riley stood up. “I think I’m going to give it one more try.”
Coach Riley walked down the stands, heading towards the crowd around the six Experts, but it was clear that he wouldn’t get their time of day.
“We’ve already picked our school, you can all just forget us.” With that voice coming from the crowd, three identical figures walked out of the gym, them being the triplets of The Experts.
With only 3 members of the group still in the gym, the crowd around them grew bigger. One of The Experts towered over everyone else in the building, visibly ignoring everyone trying to talk to him.
“I’m done!” The tall boy pointed at a random coach. “What’s your school name?”
“Franklin High!” The coach responded with a very excited tone.
“Great, I’m going to Franklin High, everyone else leave me alone!” The towering figure immediately walked out of the gym.
With his departure, the small crowd around him shuffled to the other crowds around the remaining Experts. What many didn’t realize, however, is that one of them slipped out and left the gym, leaving only one. Coach Riley joined the crowd around the muscular kid. This was Deon Sloan, nicknamed The Genetic Freak, and he was all smiles as coaches kept promising him different things. He loved the attention, craving it. Coach Riley could tell all this earlier by the show-boating that Deon did while dunking over another student. Coach Riley tried speaking up but his voice got lost in the crowd.
“I got Manny, he says he promises to beat Cap!” A voice boomed from the crowd. With those words, Deon stood up and pointed at the coach that spoke.
“I’m coming to your school!” He exclaimed, as the crowd immediately dissipated, the groans of disappointment went through the entire gym.
Coach Riley, visibly discouraged, walked back to his son, who had two tall kids next to him, one of them being the kid that a triplet blocked earlier.
“Who are these kids?” Coach asked, noticing that all the coaches were leaving, instead of trying to talk to other recruits.
“While you were going with the experts, these guys were about to leave, so I talked to them. They’re twins, and they’ve agreed to join our school. We should win a few games with them!” Michael had excitement in his voice.
“I’m Lionel Chase” The boy that got blocked said in a quiet tone, hunched as he stood, still clearly embarrassed.
“And I’m Lory Chase” The other boy had more volume to him, and a more confident stance.
“I’m Coach Riley, it’s nice to meet you, I look forward to training you this school year.” He shook the hands of the twins, and then they left the gym.
“So, doesn’t look like you got any of those so-called ‘experts’ huh?” Michael couldn’t help but have a smirk on his face, not being able to hide his excitement as he spoke.
“Well, only six showed up. I hear that the top three didn’t even come, but I did hear something interesting. Deon Sloan is teaming up with Manny.” Coach Riley checked the time on his phone, then looked around to see if any other recruits stayed, but as the other coaches left, so did the kids.
“They’ll be unbeatable! Manny would be the top kid if it wasn’t for The Captain, and Deon was said to be in the top five players at the press conference. One of the few players that showed up to the conference” The first hint of doubt was in Michael’s voice as he spoke. He was hoping that The Experts would spread out more among schools instead of teaming up since he wanted more of a shot of winning.
“Well, with you joining Montville, and those twins you just got us, I’m sure I can coach us to some wins against the less stacked teams.” Mitchell grabbed a folder he had been taking notes with off the stands.
With that, the father-son duo left the gym. The school year starts in exactly one month, and teams will start training and putting on pre-season tournaments.
The Montville Mustangs currently believe they got none of the experts. Little did anyone know, the fact that Montville is the top academic school in the district will be the very thing that gives them an Expert, who happens to have the nickname ‘Deadeye’. Now that The Experts have arrived, the high school basketball scene is going to drastically change. Welcome to the story of The Mighty Mustangs!
Bio: Hi everybody! My name is TheMagnificentOne, but you can call me Mag. I am a film program graduate and want to try book writing instead of continuing scriptwriting. I usually write stories about sports, superheroes, or war. It's my dream to create comic books in the future, despite my inability to draw. I hope you all enjoy the stories I write and stay Magnificent everyone!