Self and Fussell

The Guntersville Wildcats have begun their summer basketball season as head coach Brett Self (left) enters his third year. Brandon Fussell is sure to be one of the key players for this year's squad.

It’s summer time, which means basketball team camps are about to start all across the state. The Guntersville Wildcats have already hit the court and have a full summer schedule ahead of them.

Yesterday, the Wildcats played several exhibition games on the campus of UAH in Huntsville. They’ll travel to Lipscomb University in Tennessee on June 11-12 for a team camp then travel to Jacksonville State for another play-date on June 15.

Head coach Brett Self is getting ready to enter his third season at the helm. His first two seasons saw lots of success with both teams returning a good bit of talent each season. This season, however, will be a tad different.

“Summer is going to be very important for us this year because of how many new faces we’ll have on the roster,” Self said. “This is the first time since I’ve been here that we don’t have the majority of last year’s roster coming back. We have several very talented, smart guys coming back from last year’s team and a lot of young players ready to compete. I like this group but we’ve got work to do.”

Some key pieces coming back on the 2021-2022 team are Cooper Davidson, Brandon Fussell, Curt Blanchard and Tucker Leach. John Michael McElrath and Brody Perry also return from last year’s team.

“I’m very thankful that we’re getting to have a summer season this year,” Self said. “Obviously, last year’s was cancelled. Summer is very important especially for a group like this one. It’s a great time to build team chemistry and figure out how to play together. This group has a lot of guys who want to get after it and work hard. They’re also very smart so getting some playing time in with one another will be key for our success moving forward.”

Self said he and the coaching staff are planning to play several different lineups throughout the summer. The competition Guntersville is scheduled to face won’t be easy at any point during the summer.

“Almost every team we play will be from out of state,” Self said. “They’ll all be talented and will present different issues for us each time we hit the floor. I’m excited to see this group against those types of teams. I want to see this team compete hard and see how the respond to situations good and bad. Summer is the starting point for each season so we need to get off to a good one.”

The Wildcats began summer practices at the beginning of last week. Self said his team will play in several other summer exhibition games but they haven’t been officially scheduled yet.

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