FORT MOHAVE — The Academy of Building Industries’ small but dedicated group of athletes have started practicing for the upcoming basketball season.

Although the team’s turnout was minimal at first, its roster has quickly filled.

“At the start it was slow, but yesterday we had eleven people show up,” head coach Chuck Reyes said. “They’re decent players, they’re a quality team. I’ve got three or four really strong players, and the rest of them are not bad. All you really need is two strong players, but I’ve got four.”

Many of Reyes’ players also played on AOBI’s flag football team this fall.

Reyes coaches all of AOBI’s sports, and is experienced in playing and coaching a variety of sports.

And even though he wasn’t initially fond of coaching basketball, his teams were always successful and he grew to enjoy it.

“I was good at playing lots of sports, except basketball,” he said. “I was horrible at it, because I didn’t like it. All my basketball teams became champion teams. I don’t push the technical stuff on them, because I don’t know it. I go with the basics, and they listen.”

The Blue Steel didn’t meet the registration deadline to participate in a league during the Canyon Athletic Association’s winter basketball season.

However, they weren’t the only local team in need of opponents — Telesis Prep in Lake Havasu City also needed to fill its schedule, so the pair will play each other several times this winter.

This will allow both teams to play without having to travel to the Phoenix area, where most other CAA teams are located.

“I called up Telesis’ coach,” Reyes said. “He was a super nice guy, and I said ‘hey, why don’t we just play each other a bunch of times, we’ll go back and forth — we play at your place and you play at ours.’ So now we don’t have to drive four hours.”

Telesis and AOBI have two games scheduled, but Reyes said they plan to play each other eight times.

On Nov. 22, the Blue Steel will travel to Lake Havasu City, then they will host the Tigers on Dec. 14.

AOBI has been practicing at the Young Scholar’s Academy gym.

Reyes said that he is trying to arrange for the team to host its games at the Fort Mojave Wellness Center in Arizona Village.

Reyes also said that he wants to schedule scrimmages against River Valley High and Mohave High, and he is also looking into the possibility of participating in the Holiday Shootout in December.

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