WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington’s Southeastern Homeschool might be the best basketball program you’ve never heard of.
The team is made up primarily of players from the greater Wilmington area who are homeschooled, and for many of the Cardinals, basketball is an important social outlet.
“Developing those social skills will help you later in life,” said Cardinal freshman Brantley Springer. “Sometimes in homeschooling, if you don’t do it right, you can lose those (social skills) so it helps build those up here.”
“Sports are a big outlet,” Cardinals senior Philip Strickland added. “Some of these friends will be my friends for the rest of my life. It’s something that is needed and much appreciated by all of us.”
Playing basketball is a commitment for Hayden Perry. He travels from Mount Olive to Wilmington play for the Cardinals.
Perry had to make a choice of traveling or not playing basketball after Goldsboro Homeschool didn’t field a varsity team this year.
“It wasn’t an option for me to quit,” Perry said. “I couldn’t deal without basketball. I thought about it but said I couldn’t do it.”
During practice, Cardinals players aren’t just working on their basketball skills. Coach Adam Batts is also teaching them how to be better people.
“There are so many life lessons they can learn through the game,” said Batts. “Teamwork, sportsmanship, work ethic in general. Even consequences, dealing with fouls and referees and how to respect authority.”
This year Southeaster (10-5) is turning some of those lessons into victories.
“We aren’t the scrub anymore,” said Strickland. “We aren’t the team that gets picked on. We are one of the top teams up there.”
“Our expectations are to win the conference,” Batts added. “We want to win the conference championship, go to the states and compete hard against the teams from the west.”