Haase has insipirational words for Tahoe
South Tahoe High boys basketball players both past and present share a bond that no one can ever take away – they’re all Vikings.
That connection is especially strong come state tournament time. South Tahoe teams yearly compete for the state title with calendrical accuracy, a tradition which is unparalleled in Nevada hoops.
And as the boys enter the 1997 championships, the program’s most notable graduate wanted to share some tournament thoughts with this year’s group.
“I think they’re in a great position right now, “said Kansas’ Jerod Haase. “A lot of people are saying they can’t do it. I love to be in that situation, especially when it’s win one game, then move on.”
A member of Tahoe’s 1992 state championship team and starting guard amongst arguably the most-talented starting five in college basketball, Haase said playing in a big game is all a state of mind.
“One thing I’ve really learned this year is it’s how you enjoy the journey and to not worry about the end result – that’s what is important,” he said. “I think I’ve pressed too hard in the past. You’ve got to enjoy the people you’re around every step of the way. These are the things you’ll remember and memories you’ll cherish.”
One different memory, at least on paper, is that the 1996-97 Viking squad is the first in 10 years to not win a division or zone title. Haase echoed Tahoe coach Tom Orlich’s thoughts on the streak …
“They did their best. Sometimes you can’t control the end result,” Haase said.
“In my mind, they have carried on the tradition because of the kind of people they are, what they stand for and how hard they’ve worked. In no way have they let me, any other alumni or any of the tradition down – the Tahoe tradition lives on,” Haase continued.
“I don’t think that’s a thing for them to be concerned about. They’ve overcome a lot of adversity. Just making it to the state tournament is a big accomplishment. How they work and go after their goals is what matters now.”
And as the No. 1 Jayhawks trek toward a national title, Haase shared one of his favorite Coach Roy Williams’ quotes – one that he hopes the Tahoe boys take to heart as they pursue their title.
“Be led by your dreams, not pushed by your problems,” Haase said. “Forget about what’s happened. Dream big and go after them.”
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