Published in The Burg August 12, 2021
By John Ring
Man, did I call at a bad time. Jeremiah Babers, senior point guard for the Galesburg Silver
Streaks was bowling at Abbe Lanes in Abingdon.
I hate bothering a guy who is having some fun on a Friday night. And you can have some fun at the Abbe, for sure. The Streaks bowling team won the Western Big 6 last spring there and it was a fun day when that happened.
But we needed to talk some basketball and conversing with a point guard is the guy you want to get the jist from. Straight talk. From the hip.
Jeremiah’s ready to go, fresh off a busy summer of basketball for new Coach Chad Thompson and the Silver Streaks. “I really didn’t have a junior season,” said Babers, “but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. We played but it wasn’t quite the same. Nobody’s fault, that’s the way it was.”
We continued our conversation.
Q: How was it playing the summer basketball games? It had to feel good to be back on the court didn’t it?
“We got out team chemistry back. Galesburg basketball is back and we want to play games in March. We had some good basketball games, played in around 15 of them. We were missing a couple of players from time to time but it was great to be back out there. We didn’t hold anything back.”
Q: What there was last season had to tough. You played in the Fieldhouse, no fans, no band, not a lot of excitement. Hopefully you’ll be back in Thiel Gym with things back to normal this year.
“I understand fully. You don’t miss it until you don’t have it. We did what we had to do, it’s
nobody’s fault but it was like playing at the YMCA. We get to come back this season and our coach pushes us. He knows us. Early in my career, coaches told me, ‘Babers, you have to push yourself, you’re just one play away, you got to play harder’ and they were right. Coach
Thompson is the same way with us.”
Q: I looked at your schedule this season Jeremiah. There’s not an easy game on there. Does it feel like it’ll be a battle every night you play?
“There are no easy wins in the Big 6. But a lot of it is mental. Coach says it all mind over matter, you have to push your way through it, you can’t get tired.”
Q: Did you have any concerns about the team that were alleviated after playing those games this summer?
“I was concerned a little about our height but I’ll tell you this, Koen Derry and Carl Dortch impressed me this summer. Dortch has always been our Dennis Rodman. He does the dirty work inside. He fights inside. Koen went up against Jaylin McCants for two hours a day in practices two years ago as a sophomore. Koen got dunked on and outplayed but he learned a lot going up against Jaylin. Now we have a couple of 6’4” and 6”6” guys that are playing tough inside and we need their size and their heart this season.”
Q: What were practices like with with Jaylin?
“Playing with Jaylin was a blessing. Our seniors, myself included, were young guys back then and Jaylin was such a good player, we got better just going up against him and we learned a lot from him.”
Q: What individual skills did you work on this summer?
“Coach Thompson wants me to shoot more, to be a threat. He wants me to take the transition three, the pick and roll shot. I can’t wait for the season opener. You have to want the spotlight to be on you. You have to want this, to get out there and get some wins in our Gym in front of the fans.”