Camp Lejeune, NC | March 12, 2019
The 910 Vengeance 17U Elite basketball team is three years in the making. Kent Fields, head coach, enjoys seeing local Onslow County talent grow in the Living Water Christian School set in Jacksonville.
“I love having players from the local schools,” Fields said. “The players compete so hard against each other. I let them know that I am watching their games. When you play against your brother, friend and teammates, it brings out that extra competitive edge in you.”
The 910 Vengeance is comprised of players from Onslow County schools, including three players from Lejeune High School — Malachi Borders, Jarrod DeBose and Jaylon Armstrong.
Fields’ goal is to help turn boys into men on and off the basketball court. This occurs one practice and game at a time.
“Our team represents values like integrity, hard work, perseverance and overcoming obstacles,” Fields said. “When we started out, we didn’t have a gym but I had guys that really cared about the game of basketball.”
During practice, Fields works on player conditioning, running team members throughout a Monday evening practice.
“One thing I learned is that the best conditioned team has the best chance to win tough games down the stretch,” Fields said. “A lot of teams have players that are X and O guys, but they are aren’t physically prepared to endure the rigorous, tough competition. We play at an elite level, so it is important to be physically in shape.”
Aaron Oates, 910 Vengeance team member, is ready for the travel that goes along with playing the best teams in the region.
“I like this team because we have some of the best guys that are around Jacksonville,” Oates said. “I feel like we can represent where we are from pretty well by going around the state playing in competitions. When we go against each other in practice, it is fun, but we get competitive.”
Daymon Beckwith has known his teammates for years and looks forward to the beginning of the 2019 season.
“I knew of these guys when I was younger, but I never got to play with them until last year,” Beckwith said. “Playing with them is a really good experience.”
Beckwith and Oates grew up together. They share a bond through basketball.
“I know Daymon pretty well since sixth grade,” Oates said. “I am at Northside High School, and he is at Liberty [Christian]. I use a lot of things that I learned at Northside like playing defense.”
Emanuel Rodriguez plays hoops at Northside High School. He said the players from different high schools come together for the good of the team.
“This team is great because we want to see each other win,” Rodriguez said. “I do bring my traditions from Jacksonville. My coach taught me to run man defense and we run that here.”
The 910 Vengeance schedule opens with the UBA Basketball Tip-Off at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, March 22.