Second of two parts
North Dallas boys basketball coach Brett Cole says the key to building the basketball program is having proper facilities and maintaining a feeder pattern.
The feeder pattern requires getting the kids from Spence and Rusk to come to North Dallas and not transferring or attending other schools. But getting basketball athletes to come to ND with its lack of gym facilities and tradition is difficult.
“We can’t compete with other schools that have facilities,” girls basketball coach Erik Grayson said.
The ND boys basketball team won 10 games this season for the first time since the 2007-08 school year when the Bulldogs went 19-11 under coach Chad Chacchia. He left after that season and he said many of his players transferred. The Bulldogs went 0-28 the next season.
The Bulldogs also came close to making the playoffs, finishing fifth in District 11-5A with a 6-8 district record and 10-14 overall.
Although the boys team improved this season, the girls basketball program is stuck in mediocrity. The girls team unofficially went 2-19 overall and 0-14 in district play. The girls have lost their last 31 district games, and haven’t won a district game since beating Seagovile 44-41 on Jan. 24, 2014. Over the last five years, the girls have an unofficial overall record of 6-97 and 2-67 in district play.
By comparison, the boys teams have an unofficial overall record of 35-87 and 18-53 in district play.
Can better facilities change this losing trend?
“The kids look at the [ND] facilities, and ask ‘Why would I go there?’ ” a former coach said.
In his second season as head coach, Cole said having a “brand-new weight room is a right step.”
It is not known when a Bulldogs team last made the playoffs. In 1956, the ND basketball team went 26-2 and advanced to the state championship game. North Dallas won the city championship in 1949.
Former ND athletic coordinator and basketball coach Carlton Dixon, who played basketball at Lincoln HS and the University of Texas, knows how much North Dallas needs a “competition-sized” gym.
“I cannot even begin to communicate how much a new gym is needed,” said Dixon, who went 14-39 in his two years at ND. “The district can make it happen if they want to. I truly believe that. Make it happen for the kids and the school.”
Dixon said the ND program “was not in a good position at all.” when he took the head coaching job.
“Low morale, low numbers, low production,” he said. “That was part of my excitement for accepting the job. The opportunity to turn it in a positive direction.”
Grayson said there are benefits to a new gym, which would provide concession stands, room for the community and space for the cheerleaders.
“It increases support, funding for the program,” Dixon said, “and provides a true home-court advantage.”
The lack of adequate facilities also affected the teams’ practice schedule.
The ND varsity boys basketball team started practice about 3:30 p.m., and was followed at 5 p.m. by the varsity girls team and then the junior varsity boys team. Grayson said his girls team shared the gym with the wrestling team.
For a team to compete, practice time is valuable. An hour-and-a-half each day is not very much.
“Every day, every practice is a learning experience,” Cole said. During games, “they are either winning or learning.”
ND BASKETBALL TEAM RECORDS
Records are from The Dallas Morning News’ SportsDayHS website and may not be totally accurate.
Girls records by season
Year Overall District
2015-16 2-19 0-14
2014-15 2-21 0-14
2013-14 1-20 1-13
2012-13 0-17 0-13
2011-12 1-20 1-13
2010-11 7-15 4-10
2009-10 2-18 1-13
2008-09 4-21 2-12
2007-08 8-14 4-8
2006-07 4-17 4-8
Boys records by season
Year Overall District
2015-16 10-14 6-8
2014-15 8-13 5-9
2013-14 8-21 1-12
2012-13 6-18 3-11
2011-12 3-21 1-13
2010-11 3-17 2-11
2009-10 2-23 1-13
2008-09 0-28 0-14
2007-08 19-11 5-7
2006-07 18-14 4-8