New HCA basketball coach has team working hard

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man who grew up playing basketball with LSU great Pete Maravich is bringing his "A" game to a team of underdogs.

Randy Carlisle is the new head coach of the boys' basketball team at Hosanna Christian Academy.

There's a transformation underway inside the gymnasium.

"Why are your arms straight? That's how you finish a pass. That's how you finish a shot. It's how you guard someone the whole time," Coach Randy Carlisle said.

Coach Carlisle is new to the Blazers but when it comes to basketball, he's an old pro from North Louisiana with several victories under his belt at Castor High School.

"We won a state championship in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and I told the Lord I was done with basketball and he said, nope," Carlisle said.

He moved south to Baton Rouge to pursue his dream of helping a struggling team rebound. Carlisle brought more than just his smooth moves to the court, he showed up on the court with a training routine that put even the fittest athletes in shock.

"The first time I did this I actually wanted to walk out of the gym," Myron Morgan said.

"I thought he was psycho because I never heard of that before. It's very different. Every coach wants us to lift weights but he's the only coach that ever did this," Travay Chatman said.

The drills include core strengthening exercises, speed and endurance. The players work every muscle, from their toes to the tips of their fingers.

The Blazers said they're already bouncing back.

"I wasn't grabbing the rim with two hands and now I'm dunking with two hands easily. It increased my vertical by like five inches in seven weeks," Chatman said.

"I have a left hand. I didn't have a left hand last year," Patrick Browder said.

"It changes your whole mindset. Makes you think like a winner," Carlisle said.

It appears to be working.

"I just want to get the win that's it. Just win," Morgan said.

"State champs. We want it bad. We're going to get it this year," Browder said.

The first of Coach Carlisle's "The Ultimate Seven" strength training sessions will be available to the public on DVD next month.

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