KIMBERLY - The high school basketball season has to wait for the fall season to start and then end before it can get going, but even in the summer teams are preparing for the next season.
This summer, Kimberly is hosting a girls summer league and eight teams are getting a preview of what lies ahead for them. This is when teams can start putting the pieces together for the next season.
"I always look at it as about a five-week window," Kimberly coach Troy Cullen said. "As soon as school gets out until the middle of July; we get a good look at our kids. This is a good league; we have two games every night and it's a solid two games. It really helps our kids to develop in the summer. It's kind of like a mini-season is what it is."
Fox Valley Association player of the year Frankie Wurtz of Kimberly said despite the season not tipping off for a while, the summer league has value.
"Obviously very important because we want to see how we do in the regular season and playoffs, especially since we get to play De Pere here, and we play them in our sectional," she said. "It's important to see how we'll do in our season and what we got to work on."
The summer isn't when teams start strategizing for their season opener or main rival, but this time of the year does get teams a leg up in one area. Cullen, who's not coaching his team during the league, as he's using his five contact days at a different time, said the summer is when teams can start bonding.
"The biggest thing we try to build in the summer is team chemistry," he said. "You don't get the day-to-day practice but every week you get two good games and it's a good thing for us."
Next Wednesday is the final day of the summer league and De Pere and Kimberly tied for the best record in pool play. They will be the top seeds in a tournament that includes Oshkosh West, Appleton East, Xavier, Kaukauna, Menasha and New London.
De Pere won the title last season.
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