The Keokuk High School girls basketball program has produced successful teams for quite some time under the direction of Mike Davis.

Davis has left the program, but this season should show continued success under new coach Matt McGhghy, who was Davis鈥 assistant.

To foster the continued success, McGhghy believes in team building exercises.

Having mutual respect, common and aligned goals, open communication, and patience with one another all help make for a successful team.

In an effort to obtain these attributes, McGhghy took the Keokuk girls basketball team to the Western Illinois women澳门开奖 game 澳门开奖.

鈥淚 believe in team chemistry and the more you are around each other, the more connections you make,鈥 he said. 鈥淭his was a team-bonding opportunity for us before the season starts.鈥

The Chiefs had a unique opportunity to watch Division 1 basketball and had to travel less than an hour from Keokuk.

鈥淐oach JD Gravina is a great coach and loves sharing his program at WIU,鈥 McGhghy said.

WIU played Northern Illinois, the college where McGhghy played football before moving on to the NFL. When McGhghy was with the Detroit Lions in 2006, they allocated him to play in the NFL Europe league. As a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy, McGhghy澳门开奖 team won the World Bowl.

While football and girls basketball do not seem to be compatible, Mcghghy said there are a lot of parallels.

鈥淜nowing the amount of preparation and work that it takes to be a champion is an experience that continues to help me in coaching. The daily choices and sacrifices it takes is something very difficult to replicate. Our girls at Keokuk work hard and they are dedicated to the process.鈥

McGhghy澳门开奖 mentor, Sam Pittman, University of Arkansas head football coach, instilled in him the mantra of, 鈥淚t澳门开奖 not what you are capable of, it is what you are willing to do.鈥

There are many things a lot of people are capable of doing, yet few are willing.

鈥淒eveloping this mindset can foster a championship mentality,鈥 McGhghy said.

The Leathernecks played like champions 澳门开奖 in front of the Chiefs鈥 contingent. WIU pulled away from a 15-14 first quarter score to win 95-62 over the Huskies.

鈥淚 love my Huskies, but (澳门开奖) I was pulling for the Leathernecks,鈥 McGhghy said.

McGhghy took as many of the Chiefs鈥 players as he could, but some had prior commitments. They will have a chance for an equivalent experience with future team bonding excursions planned for Quincy University, Culver-Stockton, and Carl Sandburg.

Quincy University is coached by former Keokuk player Courtney Boyd.

While the high school season is not yet underway, McGhghy has a 鈥済ood idea鈥 of the team members for the 2023-24 season.

鈥淲e have a great mixture of seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. I like our leadership within the program and the depth we have created at all positions.鈥

To build that team chemistry, McGhghy wants his athletes to be around each other as much as possible.

鈥淲e had a unique opportunity to watch high-quality basketball from all aspects of the game as a team.鈥

The Chiefs visited the Macomb campus and arrived at Western Hall early, which enabled the Chiefs to watch how a Division I team warms up, its pre-game routines, and even be in the locker room before the game to hear Coach Gravina talk.

鈥淲e watched the skill level on the court that I try to get my high school athletes to mimic,鈥 McGhghy said. 鈥淲atching how players communicate, play physical and tough, and cheer each other on, it is great modeling and a valuable learning moment.鈥

McGhghy said the trip 鈥渁bsolutely accomplished everything I desired.鈥

He saw his team interacting with each other and building comradery.

鈥淎s an educator I believe students often learn best from other students,鈥 he said. 鈥淭his is no different in sports. Athletes learn from watching other athletes and what better way to accomplish that than taking them to a high level basketball game at WIU. We went out for an early dinner after the game and enjoyed some great food and conversation at Los Charros.鈥

Eventually those conversations could turn into championship chatter.