After successfully recruiting eight new players, coach Butch Estes is one step closer to his goal of rebuilding the Shoreline Community College men’s basketball program.
SCC men's coach Butch Estes
New recruits for SCC
Name Hometown High school
Alfie Miller Ellensburg Rainier
Jesse Vaughan Spokane Roger
Sam Howell Seattle Seattle Prep
Kwame Bates Kent Evergreen
Sean Jones Renton O’Dea
Jonathan Payne Tacoma Foss
Joseph Holyfield Renton Renton
Evin Jones Seattle Ingraham
Ever since Estes joined the college as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach in Spring 2008, he has been keeping an eye on the outstanding high school basketball players in the region.
“The goal of the recruitment is to improve the program as well as the talent level of the team,” Estes said. “Compared with last year, there is definitely a tremendous improvement in quality of this year’s players.”
When talking about his recruiting criteria, Estes said that he looked for athletic players with both good basketball skills and character.
Estes said recruiting is an all-year job consisting of three parts: identify the players, evaluate their abilities, and reach out to the players and their families.
“We want to make sure that the player is a good person,” Estes said, adding that grades are only one measure. “As long as he’s a good player and a good person, we’ll take a look at him,” he said.
While he hasn’t had a chance to get the new players on court at SCC in an official practice session, Estes said he likes what he’s seen. “They’re a talented group who are used to winning and are highly self-motivated to go onto a four-year university,” Estes said.
Recruiting is all about the person doing it and according to his new players, the college found the right person to take on the task, saying they are looking forward to working with Estes.
“I first met him when he came to watch me play at a game,” said one of the new players, Joseph Holyfield. “He also came to my house to explain the basketball program to my mom. I believe he can help me to develop my skills into the next level.”
The feeling was echoed by another new player, Sam Hsu: “He’s a great guy who definitely knows a lot about basketball. I’m just excited to be coached by him.”
For Estes, basketball has been a big part of his life.
Growing up in North Carolina, Estes started early playing basketball. He played as an off-guard in high school and at the University of North Carolina under legendary Tar Heels coach Dean Smith. Estes was a graduate assistant for Smith and then began his coaching career on the East Coast.
Estes compiled a winning record over nine years as head coach at Furman University and went 69-22 over three years at Miami-Dade Community College. Estes was also an assistant at the University of Miami and then at Seattle University after moving here in 2007.
With all the coaching experience, Estes has decided on the best style for the new men’s team.
“I like to fast-break, but at the same time to have an unselfish offense,” Estes said. “Everyone will share the ball and it will be nothing like one person gets all the points and the others don’t.”
As for defense, the team will use multiple systems, varying from man-to-man, zone, and full-court press.
The team will start the first training sessions on Oct. 19. The schedule will be intense, with practices set for two and a half hour a day, six days a week.
Despite the recruiting success, Estes said he’s still looking for more players and tryouts will be scheduled for early Fall quarter.
“The tryouts are open to everyone,” Estes said. “But it’s a competitive thing because we can’t take more than 15.”
For SCC/Jocelyn Chui