Missouri Military Academy’s varsity basketball team plays a top-flight schedule consisting of 18 regular season games, three invitational tournaments, and the state basketball tournament in District 13 of Class 3.
Roger Siwak, MMA’s head basketball coach, has had over 15 years of coaching experience. Before MMA, he coached as a head boys' high school coach, a junior varsity coach, and a head middle school coach. Through his “embrace the process” coaching mentality, Siwak, assistant coaches Traevonne Smith and Jeff Gifford, and the MMA basketball team are ready to tackle the 2023-2024 season.
Enjoy this basketball preview Q&A with Coach Siwak.
What are your expectations for the season?
My expectations for the season start with intangibles: we work hard, we are disciplined, and we are coachable. From there, I expect continuous improvement every day we are on the court.
What are your goals as a coach? Goals for the cadets?
My goal for the cadets is to continuously improve every day. My goal as a coach is that we teach the cadets the intangibles and teach them the fundamentals of basketball, so we are competitive.
What does daily practice look like for cadets?
We practice for about 100 minutes a night. Our objective is to give 100 for 100, which means 100% for 100 minutes. If we can do that, we will continuously improve. We do this with a mix of offensive skills, team skills, and defensive skills. We also want cadets to learn to think about the game.
Who are the team captains?
Cadet Dempsey is our returning team captain. He will be joined in leadership by Cadets Thumbi and Erskine.
Who are the top players and why?
Cadet Dempsey brings back the most varsity experience, and he is coming off of a good junior season. I look to his leadership on and off the floor. Cadets Bataa and Erskine both have some varsity experience, and I will also look for improvement from them.
What do you hope each cadet gets out of the season, outside of improved athletic skill?
I believe basketball is great for life skills. It creates teamwork, learning to be a great teammate, forming a brotherhood, and the importance of hard work. It also creates a sense of commitment that if I get better, the team gets better. I want our cadets to play with confidence as their skills improve over the course of the season.
What would you like families to know about this season?
I want our families to follow us online, support their cadets, and support the team. I would like the families to know that keeping positivity with their cadets will help them with their confidence levels. If families have questions or concerns, we are always available.
About Coach Roger Siwak:
Off the court, Roger Siwak teaches math and business classes. He believes that building positive relationships with cadets is the foundation of a positive learning experience. As a teacher, he aims to educate and inspire cadets, both academically and personally. As a coach, he hopes to help cadets improve their skills on the court while reinforcing values of teamwork, work ethic and personal development.
Siwak says his work is his greatest passion, and he truly enjoys teaching, coaching and helping cadets build confidence and become the best they can be. In his free time, he enjoys spending quality time with his family outdoors, hiking, golfing and getting on his tractor.