Breaking onto the scene

Coupeville senior Alan Black is living proof persistence pays off.

A year ago, a frustrated Black almost hung up his sneakers after finding out he didn’t make Coupeville’s varsity basketball team as a junior.

“At first I was going to quit,” he said. “I didn’t even come to practice the next day.”

After a night of mulling over his options, Black decided he couldn’t give up playing the game he’s loved the majority of his life. He bucked up, swallowed his pride and returned to the hardwood the next practice to accept his role on the junior varsity team.

It turned out to be a great decision, considering he received a bundle of minutes as a starter and led the junior varsity team in scoring at close to 18 points a game.

“I got a lot of playing time and if I was on varsity I would have got none,” Black said.

More impressive than what he was able to do his junior year is Black has continued his success at the varsity level this season. In Coupeville’s seven games he’s averaged 17.5 points a contest, putting in a season-high 27 points against Granite Falls.

“It’s a bit surprising that someone could do that at the J.V. level and come up and do that at the varsity level right away,” Coupeville head coach Randy King said.

Black is equally surprised, yet thrilled by his early-season success.

“I didn’t think I was going to score that much actually,” he said. “It’s just kind of happened. It’s pretty easy—so far at least.”

At 5-foot-9, Black isn’t the most imposing player with size. What he doesn’t have in height, however, he certainly makes up for in his ability to shoot the ball.

“Although he’s not real large he just has the ability to get the shot off,” King said.

He’s proved he can drive to the hoop and score, but his bread and butter comes from his ability to shoot the ball from the outside.

“He’s as confident at the three-point line as most people are at the foul line,” King said.

He leads the Wolves in three-pointers made and in the first varsity start ever, he calmly knocked down a career-high five.

Black credits his smooth jump shot to days of practicing on his drive-way basketball hoop.

“I used to work on it in the summer, all day, every day,” he said.

The Wolves are 5-2 in their first seven non-league games and start league play at 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 6 against Friday Harbor. Black is confident the success the team has seen early will carry over into Northwest A play.

“I think we’ll do pretty good against pretty much all of them,” he said.

The Coupeville girls varsity tips off the action at 4 the Coupeville gym. Tuesday’s games mark the first competition for both squads for the first time in nearly three weeks.

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