Geter looks to revive Mustang pride

Geter looks to revive Mustang pride
November 24
15:00 2021

Taking over a basketball program only two weeks before the start of the season, contracting COVID-19, and finishing the year winless, was not the way Christopher Geter wanted his first season as the Parkland Mustangs’ head basketball coach to go. Heading into his second season, Geter feels this could be the start of something special.

“This year is a whole different ball game,” Geter said. “We had an offseason, we were able to prepare, we’ve been in the weight room hard, and we have been playing summer league games.”

Geter lost two seniors from last year’s team and expects his returning upperclassmen will fill in the voids left by those players. The experience gained from last year and the games played during the summer will be invaluable for his players, Geter said.

“The season is real bright for us this year,” he said. “The returners are mainly the core people that really put in work over the summer. One of our returners is Ramaj Williams, the point guard, I call him the motor. He is very special, probably the most athletic point guard in the city. He is kind of Ja Morantish.

“We got Bryce Jackson returning. He is our shooter and we are looking for him to be more consistent and bring that every game. And all the other returners I got didn’t really play that much because they were freshmen, but now they are going to be big contributors, like Derrick York and Christian Williams. And I can’t forget about my lone wolf senior Jaxon Monell, a football player who is coming straight off the field, getting geared up for basketball and will probably be one of our captains.”

Geter was happy to finally have time to prepare for a season. Taking over last year with only two weeks to prepare was difficult for him. He says this year is going to be better because he was able to implement all facets of his offseason program to prepare his guys for the season.

“The offseason, I call it going through the gauntlet,” he said about his offseason program. “We had to get conditioned, we were on that track, we were on the hill, and we were definitely in that weight room. The main goal was that we wanted to get faster and stronger.  

“We played a lot of games over the summer. We probably played like 20-something games over the summer and I think that experience got them more confident in their game and more confident in what we do as a team. We are way more prepared this year than we were last year.”

Based on their record last season, Geter says he knows a lot of other teams will overlook Parkland when they see them on the schedule. He says people are going to be surprised by what they see out of this team once the season begins.

“When you get to talking about Parkland last year, I put an asterisk beside it because nobody remembers,” he said jokingly. “The year didn’t go well and plus when I caught COVID, we just stopped playing, so it was like we just dropped off the face of the earth.

“We will be the underdog, probably the most underappreciated team this year, but we are going to shock some people, especially with the additions we got this year.”

Geter says they have a couple of transfer students they are really high on right now, such as his son, Joshua Moore, a transfer student from Glenn. Geter says he is a versatile player who can play every position on the floor, as well as guard every position on the floor. The Mustang staff is also expecting big contributions from Bobby Shackelford and Elijah Carson.  

Even though they may be an afterthought by others, Geter still has lofty expectations for his team. “We set high standards for ourselves,” he said about his goals this year. “We shoot for the moon and if we don’t get to the moon, at least we’ll get to the stars. 

“Basically, our goal coming into this year, like I told them boys, is we are trying to be top three in the conference. We know if we hit the top three in the conference, we know the playoffs are in our future, so that’s the main goal. Basically, we want to put Parkland back on the map, because I think people forget that Parkland is just three years removed from being conference champs.”

Geter feels his team is ready to “prove something” this season and has put in the necessary work during the offseason to do so. He says a lot of the guys on the team have a chip on their shoulder and if they all buy into his defensive scheme, it will bode well for them in the long run.

When it came to making a schedule for the season, Geter wanted to play teams from other areas to give his guys a taste of how teams around the state play basketball. Just scheduling teams from around the area would not benefit his team as much.

“When I look to schedule people in the offseason, number one, I want to play people that are not in the area,” he said. “I think you get to see a lot of different stuff and play a lot of different athletes when you don’t schedule people in the area. For our non-conference schedule, I want all the smoke.

“I am trying to schedule teams that will help give us confidence and make us play at our best. This year we are going to play North Rowan, hopefully next year we will play Salisbury, then the year after that we will go down there to the 704, because you know in the 4A, the only way to get to the state championship is to go through a Charlotte school.”

Another addition Geter made to the team was bringing in Antonio Robinson to be his JV head coach. Geter coached Robinson during his AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) days and they have had a close relationship for years. Robinson is a 2011 graduate of Parkland and played pro basketball overseas for several seasons after his college career was concluded.

“Basically, why I brought him in is I wanted my staff to be a Parkland staff,” Geter stated. “If they went to Parkland, that was number one. For us to have a chance to be established, I feel like we have to have people that went there to understand the culture, talk to the kids, and to help these kids understand that there is some success coming out of Parkland.”

When Robinson was presented with the opportunity to coach the JV team, he was elated to do so. Even though he has never coached previously, he knows the game and wants to share his wisdom of the game with the players on the team.

“I thought about it for a week or two and I told Geter ‘let’s do it,’” Robinson said about his decision-making process. “It was definitely a different type of thing because I have never been a coach, I have always been a player my whole life. Once he gave me the opportunity, I said I am at Parkland and back home, so why not.”

Robinson says he has some nerves being that it will be his first time on the sidelines. He says there were always butterflies before every game he played, but they went away after the ball was tipped and he expects it will be similar as a coach.  

For Robinson, his goal is to bring back the fundamentals of the game. He feels a lot of the younger players have lost that part of the game and instead prefer to only work on their scoring ability. With the experience he has acquired over the years, Robinson is confident he can impart some of that wisdom into his players.

“They love to hear my story and I think they hear my story and they lock in,” Robinson said. “I played at Louisburg (College) my first two years, then I went to ECU (East Carolina University) and then I played overseas for a couple years, so I just feel like they can talk to somebody in the building that has been where they are trying to be.

“I feel like everybody is locking in. Nobody is back talking and everyone is focused and listening. I have played against guys that are in the NBA right now, so they are really locked in.”

Geter is eager to get the season started to show that last year was the exception and not the norm. “I am overly excited and I can’t wait for it to get started,” he said. “This year definitely won’t have an asterisk beside it.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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