By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The outside of the William Osteen looks more inviting with manicured lawns, trimmed scrubs and fresh mulch.
Then as you enter the doors, more improvements have taken place and are currently underway. Millington Trojan Head Basketball Coach Jewell Gates has witnessed the changes since May and will continue to oversee them leading into the 2018-19 season.
“Like a home gets renovations, our gym is being renovated,” Gates said. “It makes you feel good because know you’ve seen people helping you to be better. The School Board, the superintendent, the principal and the athletic director. They are doing their part to improve the program.
“Now we’ve got to do our part to improve the program,” he added. “But it shows they are with us with them doing all these things to make the gym look better. We greatly appreciate it.”
The William Osteen Gymnasium is the home of the Trojans and Lady Trojans. Millington had taken on District 15-2A foes and various other teams from the Mid-South on a new court with new golden scoreboards hanging. The latest improvements are easily spotted from wall to wall.
“They painted the top black and I kind of like that now,” Gates acknowledged. “I wasn’t a big fan initially. They’re going to paint inside the locker rooms, offices, hallways. They’re doing everything over. It’s going to be like a new gym inside the old gym.”
And more changes are coming that will have direct impact on games.
“I talked to a gentleman this morning in Louisville, Ky,” Gates said. “I sent him pictures of the backboards and he’s going to email the estimates of which backboard should fit. We’re getting six new backboards. The side baskets will be glass and of course the two main ones. That will be our next project to get new backboards and rims.”
Gates said all the players wearing the black and gold of Millington will appreciate the new features in their home. He will make sure his team understands why the community invested time, money and materials in their extracurricular activities.
“That will make a world of difference,” he said. “I haven’t told all of them of what is happening. But the ones coming in this week, they notice it. We’ll get back in here next week for real and talk about it. If the other people are putting in this kind of effort, we better put in 10 times the effort to repay them for what they’re doing for us.
“That’s very important in my mind,” Gates concluded. “We have to repay them for all the money they put into this paint job. Repay them for them putting in a lot of money for our new backboards. So we have to repay them by busting our butts every single day and getting those wins.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.