The numbers would be staggering for an NBA squad, let alone a summer prep basketball team. In the span of nine days, the Santa Maria (Calif.) St. Joseph boys basketball squad travelled 3,590 miles through four states, playing 15 games along the way, all in one very packed van.
Crunch the numbers and one comes up with an average of approximately 400 miles per day (398.9, to be exact), 1.67 games per day and a new state every 2.25 days on their epic trip.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Knights returned from their epic week-and-a-half sojourn after wrapping up the University of Washington team camp, finishing a journey which travelled through Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Washington. In the process, St. Joseph went 9-6, a pretty impressive record considering the stiff competition at the Washington camp and the team's rigorous itinerary.
The trip started in Tempe at the Arizona State team camp, continued to Las Vegas for a one-game face off against Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman High, included a game against Salt Lake City (Utah) Judge Memorial High and Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland High, and then wrapped up at the Washington team camp.
For his part, St. Joseph coach Tom Mott expressed a sense of contentment with the team's performance, citing strong play at the beginning and end of the trek as signs of consistency and something the program could build on.
While plenty of St. Joseph's players had impressive trips, the true MVP of the entire trek was probably Mott himself, who doubled as coach and van driver. Needless to say, that second role is significantly less traditional and comfortable for Mott, who finally got a few days out from behind the wheel between the end of the Washington camp and Friday, when the Knights will again hit the road. This time, St. Joseph is traveling up the California coast to play at the Cal-Berkeley team camp.
As if there was any question, the team is driving there … in a van … with Mott behind the wheel. Prep Rally hopes that Mott has a great AAA roadside help policy, just to be safe. If he doesn't, well, that might make a fantastic future gift for anyone looking for something really useful for a high school coach.