Effective leaders must be open to being led. When one player is able to take individual instruction and simultaneously send a reinforcing message to the remaining members of the team, the whole unit reaps the benefits. Isaiah Morgan has the utmost respect for Coach Mick Price and his staff at Ravenswood High School. His willingness to accept coaching along with his ability to lead is why Morgan is this Week’s Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia Standout Athlete of the Week.
Ravenswood High School Boys basketball had a rich tradition of success in Class AA topped off by two state championships. This success has continued after the program was reclassified to Class A this past season.
“We don’t just have a team here. We have a program that continues to win.” Morgan said, “Over the years, if you can’t respect something like that, I don’t know what you can respect.”
High level success requires focus and complete trust between student athlete and coach. Ravenswood Boys Head Coach, Mick Price says, those intangibles are effortless with Morgan.
“Whether we’re running a drill, whether we’re in transition, whether we’re talking about what another team may do to us, he is bought in. He is focused. His eyes are on you, and when I think when other players see that, they have no choice but to follow him because they realize that they aren’t going as hard as maybe they need to go. They’ve got to meet Isaiah and by doing that, he lifts the whole team.”
Price, who has been coaching basketball for more than four decades, says that it’s every coach’s dream to have an athlete such as him. Morgan, one of 7 seniors on the team, says that the past four years have been centered on correcting the little mistakes in order to replicate past successes and expand the opportunity that success will continue into the future.
“We really break the game down during our practices. We have drills for just about everything you can imagine. If there’s something that we’re struggling with or a concept we’re not getting we’ll attack it day after day until we improve on that specific skill.”
Coach Price says Morgan’s character is more impressive than what he is accomplishing on the court.
“Forget the basketball stuff. He’s yes sir, no sir, and he’s been like that all of his life. You don’t have that very often. He is everything you tell him [to be]. When you’re coaching him he looks you in the eyes. He’s such a respectful kid and a lot of that credit goes back to his parents and the way he was raised.”
Morgan’s character is manifest through his work ethic, respect for the game and his dedication to the demands that basketball requires.
“It’s everything in the game of basketball.” Morgan said, “It’s not just working hard here and there, you have to work consistently at it, and you have to know what you’re doing at the same time.”
Morgan’s leadership combined with his openness to being led have guided the Red Devils to a perfect 9-0 start this season, landing them on top of the Class A standings nearly midway through the month of January.
“When you have the ability to take others where you are going, that’s what a leader is. Isaiah has certainly done that.”
by LUKE CREASY