BRAD ROBICHAUX — Good luck tonight, basketball teams

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

All four teams are headed for the playoffs tonight. The Memorial Titans take on the Friendswood Mustangs at Lee College, the Nederland Bulldogs face the Galveston Ball Tornadoes at Deer Park High School, the Port Neches-Groves Indians play the Crosby Cougars at Goose Creek Memorial High School and we now know the Sabine Pass Sharks will have the Zavalla Eagles as their opponents at Warren High School.

PNG, Memorial and Nederland play at 7 p.m., while Sabine Pass plays at 7:45 p.m.

It’s an exciting time for our area basketball programs, and it’s a very busy time for me. It’s easy, especially when jumping from basketball to track to baseball and softball to soccer, to forget what these big moments mean for the players that work so hard to keep playing.

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I feel certain many athletes across all sports hold similar views about their seasons when they approach playoffs. Something that Santiago Agudelo, a PNG senior and finalist for the Willie Ray Smith Award, said recently came back to me as I was thinking about the playoffs. He said his advice to the younger players is to cherish all the time they spend on the field or court. It’s a sentiment often repeated among senior football players as their seasons came to an end.

“Enjoy the time while it lasts. It goes by fast, so you have to enjoy every second of it,” Agudelo said. “You’ve got to try your hardest at all times and look for every opportunity to get on the field and show how good you are.”

Something else came to mind as well, something Nederland head coach Brian English said.

“At this time of the year, most people you play are going to be pretty good. We’ve got to be ready to play,” he said.

There’s a lot of talent on these four teams. There’s a lot of talent on their opponents’ teams as well.

These players and coaches have a point — take every minute and cherish it. Leave it all out on the court and hold nothing back, because before you know it, it will be over.

I do hope our kids make the most of this time, and I do hope they make their playoff runs last as long as they can. I think the whole community feels the same way. There are probably some baseball and softball coaches that are anxious to get their multi-sport players full time again, but even they are rooting for their basketball counterparts.

When I talk to the area coaches and players, I make the joke frequently that I can’t root for one team or the other when those teams play each other. At least for today, in this space, I don’t have to be quite so neutral. I wish the Titans, Bulldogs, Indians and Sharks the best of luck tonight in all of their games. I’m pulling for you!

Brad Robichaux is a reporter for The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at