25 April 2016

The Fort Detrick U12 Youth Basketball team is named Maryland Youth Basketball Association Champions for the 2015-2016 season. This season the team was led by Coaches Reggie Mose and Charles Harriday. Photo by Luke Burke.
The Value of a Team
Jenni Benson, USAG Public Affairs
Magic Johnson said it best, “All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” Charles Harriday has been just that, the “someone” who has believed in the Fort Detrick U12 Youth Basketball team and served as their coach leading them to victory as the Maryland Youth Basketball Association Champions for the 2015-2016 season.

Harriday explained the best thing about coaching this group of boys was being able to watch them grow not only in their skills as basketball players, but watching their personal growth as well.

“Teaching the game of basketball is rewarding as you see the kids develop basketball and life skills that will help carry them through life,” said Harriday. “Basketball is a team sport; everything we do is done together, and not just as individuals. When I see a player losing focus and acting as one, I make it a point to stop what we’re doing to teach them why that’s not what we’re about.”

Harriday emphasizes to his team the importance of showing respect and care for each other at home, at school and while playing basketball in order to help them build character.

“Looking back now to the first practice and the unknown of how this group of kids would develop is amazing,” said Harriday. “Seeing the growth in each and every kid is truly rewarding. The thought that this team would make the playoffs and win four straight games and the bracket championship is one of the many things about being a coach that makes it worthwhile.”

The team, Harriday explained, was a mix of talent, but the boys paid attention to what was being taught, enjoyed playing together and played hard every game.

“From day one, I told them basketball is about effort and team work,” said Harriday.

Coaching isn’t always easy and Harriday expressed one of the toughest things about being a coach, aside from coaching his own children, is making sure each kid gets an opportunity to play.

“The kids have different skill levels. There are times during the game where you want to mix the kids with playing experience with the kids who haven’t played as long,” explained Harriday. “As tough as that is, we did a good job getting all of our players into the games.”

Harriday, who has been playing the game for over 30 years, has coached on and off for six years and knows the value of a team.

“The camaraderie, relationships, learning to work hard together, using game concepts and most importantly, using all of the above in everyday life,” said Harriday, “that is the value of a team.”

“One of the greatest coaches in high school basketball, Coach Morgan Wooten of DeMatha Catholic High School, said ‘Basketball is 80% mental and 20% physical,’” added Harriday. “That is so true; if you put your mind to it, you can do it. I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one on this team. Go Fort Detrick!”

Harriday hopes that Fort Detrick will start a year round program and perhaps add more outdoor basketball courts to allow kids and the single Soldier the ability to work on their skills and have more opportunities for pick-up games.

One final thought Harriday left his team with was “if you work hard and stay committed to whatever it is you want to do, you can do it, with basketball and in life.”

In addition to coaching, Harriday serves as the safety manager for the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research.
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