Practice by practice, game by game, the Springdale boys basketball team is chugging along just fine in its first varsity season.
The prep school, located in New Windsor, is in its second year and the Lions didn’t piece together a team until conducting tryouts over the summer.
Playing a national schedule, they had a rough start to the season but have since steadied and are now 12-8.
On Monday, Springdale hosts Ohio-based SPIRE Academy at Towson University’s SECU Arena as part of a two-game showcase.
Mount Zion Prep will play a team of SPIRE Academy post graduates at 5:30 p.m. with the Springdale-SPIRE game to follow at 7:10.
For Springdale coach Tyrone Johnson, the showcase is a chance for Baltimore to check out some quality basketball and see what his program is all about. SPIRE has a roster filled with Division I college talent, including LaMelo Ball. The teams met at the start of the season with SPIRE claiming a 105-84 win, so a second chance provides a good measuring stick to how far the Lions have come.
“The guys are excited. They know we’re massive underdogs, but if you’re a player you like this competition and I think I’ve got some kids that are players,” Johnson said. “It won’t be a whole lot of holding the ball. We don’t want to get into a Kentucky Derby with those guys because they have the race horses. But it’s going to be some exiciting balls because we’re physical and they are extremely athletic and large.”
This season, Springdale has a mix of out-of-state and area players with Vincent Douglas, a 6-foot-5 point guard from Alabama, the team’s top player. The Lions have played an independent schedule and have traveled to Jacksonville, Memphis and Philadelphia this season.
With time, the aim is to become a prominent national team.
“Our main goal is to be self-sufficient,” said Johnson. “Our admissions department is looking to add enrollment and feed our own program. Until then, we want to bring in kids who represent us academically and culturally. My goal is to start bringing in kids and families in the spring, so we can develop a relationship and a rapport with then because in two years we’re hoping to compete nationally.”
Tickets for Monday’s games are $15 in advance through http://buytickets.at/springdaleprepbasketball/225426 or $20 at the door.