Blossom Building Champions – Part 2
(St. Louis, MO) – For record setting high school basketball coach Jay Blossom winning is very important. But winning can be defined many ways. Wining can be learning. It can be helping out the less fortunate. Winning might be enjoying the journey, and winning is definitely about the life-long relationships that characterizes Webster Groves basketball.
Make no mistake, winning games is a BIG DEAL!
During the summer of 2016, Blossom was invited to help coach the U18 National Team. He was honored to be able to serve his country in that respect and the veteran coach says he was blown away by the high level talent and says he still has more to learn about coaching basketball.
Blossom has two ‘once in a life-time’ players on his current Webster Groves team. His reigning state championship team consistently plays a national schedule. Carte’Are Gordon the 23rd ranked recruit in ESPN’s latest rankings and made an early commitment to Saint Louis University. Courtney Ramey is 35th on that same list and has committed to Louisville.
Blossom says having two such players is both exciting and challenging. He says while Gordon and Ramey are great teammates and unselfish players, the nature of the AAU circuit and the massive amounts of money related to big time college basketball have a corrupting nature to prep hoops. He also thinks the high school game could use a shot clock. (Editor: Wisconsin has just decided to add a shot clock. For more on that go to jsonline.com)
Blossom is one of the most respected coaches in the St. Louis area, and part of his success comes from coaching with passion. His side-line demeanor reflects his passion and energy. Admittedly, the 53-year-old mid-Missouri native is ‘old school’. He is intense, gets angry and stalks the court like some of our favorite coaches from our youth. Blossom says each coach has to coach to his own personality, and that a coach with his fervent style must also truly love his players. Webster’s motto TTW (Toughest Team Wins) drives this successful coach.
For Blossom, building champions is more about building the character in young men than teaching them ‘ball-screen defense’. Part of teaching character to his players, involves a young man named Gus. For virtually his entire career at Webster, Blossom has had the same ‘team manager’. Gus (last name withheld) is a special needs young man that loves Statesmen basketball. He graduated over a decade ago and each year Blossom’s seniors take the responsibility of making sure Gus gets where he needs to be and his team even gives an award to the team member with the most team spirit. That trophy has a quote from Gus inscribed on it.
State titles, conference championships, college scholarships for his players and hundreds of friends and contacts are all part of Jay Blossom’s resume. More importantly he builds champions. Those champions go on to successful lives, impacting others and contributing to their communities.