Coach has players do all coaching, team loses by a bucket

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In theory, it was a great idea. The problem came when the result didn't go the way Seattle (Wash.) Franklin High basketball coach Jason Kerr expected.

Seattle Franklin basketball
Seattle Franklin basketball

As reported by the Seattle Times' Mason Kelley, Kerr decided that he would have his players handle all coaching duties during the opening day of the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic which Franklin hosts on its home floor each year. The idea was that by having to deal with everything from logistical questions about uniforms to drawing up inbounds plays during game timeouts, the Quakers would grow closer as a team and foster a deeper respect for what Kerr does on a day-to-day basis.

It seems that goal was accomplished, but it came at a steep price: The team's first loss of the season. Facing off against crosstown rival Seattle (Wash.) Lincoln High, the Quakers fell by a bucket, 73-71, sending the team's overall record to 6-1; Franklin entered at a perfect 6-0.

The loss meant that Franklin wouldn't play in the championship game of its own tournament, a minor embarrassment that could be a bit difficult for Kerr to explain away. After all, he was outsourcing his own job to the very players he is supposed to organize and lead; it's quite literally what he's paid to do.

Still, Kerr insisted that the point of the exercise was more important than simple wins and losses, and that the two-point setback would actually pave the way to greater success over the course of the forthcoming season.

"Part of any team deal is getting everybody on the same page and understanding they have coaches to do that for them," Kerr told the Times, while his players broke down the loss amongst themselves (yes, even postgame analysis was outsourced to the players). "But, when they struggle to see that vision, sometimes you have to put that right in their own hands.

"Leadership comes out of it. That's when you're going to find out who is going to do the talking, who they're going to listen to. They'll talk about the reasons they didn't win a game they think they should have won. Hopefully, what you get is a little more buy in."

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