If you’re on the court for the Wilmington High School basketball team this season, you’ll have the green light to shoot the basketball, coach Matt Kramer said.
“I’m a big believer in everybody on the floor being able to score,” said Kramer, who was officially hired to take over the WHS boys basketball program at Monday’s meeting of the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education. “The team that gets the most shots in the game usually wins. It’s about how many shots, not about the rebounding. We want to be super fundamentally sound. And we want more shots, whether that’s by winning the glass or winning the turnover battle … if you can win both, great.”
Kramer comes to Wilmington from Liberty Union High School in Baltimore, where he’s been the head coach the past two seasons.
His first varsity head coaching job came at Fairless High School in Navarre in 2000. Kramer has been varsity head coach at Canton South and Alpharetta Milton (Ga.). His career record is 188-185.
“We are excited and thrilled to have Matt Kramer as our head basketball coach,” WHS athletic director Troy Diels said. “We are confident Matt will continue the outstanding basketball tradition that has been established at Wilmington High School.”
A nine-time varsity letterwinner as an athlete at Akron’s Archbishop Hoban High School, Kramer played basketball two years at the College of Wooster before finishing his bachelor’s degree at Mount Union.
Kramer takes over for Michael Nozska who is leaving Wilmington after 14 years as head coach to take the same position at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School.
Diels said there were 17 applicants for the coaching position. Two different committees were formed, with one committee conducting five first-round interviews and the other conducting two second round interviews.
“We actually had three finalists but one took a job at another school before second interviews could happen,” Diels said.
Kramer’s offensive philosophy comes from John Beilein who is now the head coach of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. While he was head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, Beilein said a player couldn’t don the West Virginia jersey until they’d made 50 three-pointers in five minutes.
“In high school, it’s probably more like 40 in five minutes but we want our guys striving for 50 or above,” Kramer said.
The new WHS coach will challenge his players to make 500 three-pointers a week from here on. As soon as the 500th three-pointer goes through the net, Kramer wants a text.
“Not that they’ve made 500 but a number … how many attempts it took them to make 500,” he said. “I might get a text … 748. It’s just a way to hold kids accountable, give them some ownership with their skill development.”
Three-pointers aside, Kramer was emphatic saying his Hurricane will be tough at the opposite end of the floor.
“We’re going to defend, there’s no question about it,” he said. “We’re going to build our culture off being willing to go out and compete. The best way to show it is go out there and defend. I would like to outscore people, but there’s a limit to that. If we get to the point where we’re giving the other team a basket, then I’m failing.”
Kramer said it was difficult to leave Liberty Union. In two years, he’s grown to close to his players.
“No way for teenagers to understand all the variables that go into (a decision like this),” he said. “But I need these (Wilmington) kids to become my family.
“Wilmington is a place that I see as a destination job. It fits all the things we want. I’m excited to get started.”