PRESTONSBURG – The Prestonsburg Hustle travel basketball program has enjoyed a successful offseason. The program is under the direction of veteran basketball coach Doug Hopkins.
“We have grades second through eighth this season travel season, which is pretty impressive,” Hopkins said. “We only have kids playing that attend Prestonsburg Elementary School and Adams Middle School. We are working hard to keep up the success that we had in basketball at both schools. I feel this is laying a foundation to be strong in years to come. A lot of kids nowadays will go play on a travel team made up of players from different areas. We have been fortunate to keep all these kids together playing, building a real brotherhood. Playing together as much as we have only builds the foundation for a successful school team.”
The stability of the Prestonsburg travel basketball program is rare.
“I am not aware of any other schools around that has been able to keep all these grades playing basketball,” Hopkins added. “I know that the kids and community are excited about the upcoming years.”
As groups, the Prestonsburg travel basketball program has traveled to playing at the Knott County Sportsplex, in Kingsport, Tenn., and at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., as well as area gyms.
“It’s pretty special to be able to take four to five teams to each place,” Hopkins noted. “We have won numerous tournaments during this travel season, making it all worthwhile. We wanted to step up our competition and our boys stepped up to the challenge and played great. Our seventh grade won four tournaments, sixth grade won three tournaments, fifth grade won three tournaments, fourth grade won three tournaments and second grade won two tournaments.
Prestonsburg Hustle players are currently on a break.
“We have given them some time off; most of them are playing baseball or soccer,” Hopkins confided. “We are going to get back in the gym in a couple of weeks.”
Hopkins has a busy summer planned for the Prestonsburg Hustle teams.
“We have a busy summer planned for us,” Hopkins said. “Our next year eighth grade class will play JV/freshman competition and our next year seventh/sixth will play up in competition also this summer. We will leave for Morehead State University in June, taking three teams to its overnight team camp. Then, we will come back home and host the 15th region Team Camp. We will head to Shelby Valley for its team camp and return back to Morehead to finish out the summer. These boys are gym rats, it’s been hard to keep them out of the gym.”
Several coaches are involved with the Prestonsburg Hustle travel basketball program.
“A special thanks goes out to the coaches, who have given a lot of their time to help make this a successful program,” Hopkins added.
The breakdown for the Prestonsburg Hustle travel basketball program follows.
Second Grade – Brian Pugh, Jackie Fugate and Brent Rose.
Third Grade – Bryan Allen.
Fourth Grade – Thomas Nairn and Justin Allen.
Fifth Grade – Steve Lawson, Brent Rose, Justin Salisbury, Chris Little and Doug Hopkins.
Sixth – Brad Burchett, Chuck Rowe and Jackie Fugate.
Seventh – Doug Hopkins, Tommy Poe and Justin Allen.
Eighth – Justin Allen, Tommy Poe and Doug Hopkins.
Steve LeMaster is the editor of The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.