EVART — It’s been a busy summer for the Evart boys basketball team and coach Matt Alexander, who are presently observing the mandatory one-week dead time period mandated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).

Last week in the Evart High School gymnasium, Alexander and his team was having open gym sessions.

“We participated in scrimmages with Coleman and Farwell two nights a week,” Alexander said. “The guys got a lot of running in, the JV and varsity boys. With four nights of scrimmages, they got a lot of games in. Tonight (June 27), we’ve got some lifting and open gyms going on.”

Last Wednesday, Evart started serving the “dead week” time in which coaches cannot be working with their athletes on sports.

“Once July hits, we’ll have more open gyms,” Alexander said. “We haven’t really set them yet. We’re trying to work around football too.”

Most of his athletes also play other sports, including basketball and baseball or track.

“That’s the challenge of making sure they’re able to participate in all areas,” Alexander said, adding that during his open gyms conducted earlier this week, “they’ll get some shots in with some shooting drills and they’ll scrimmage amongst themselves. I can do some stuff with them. I just want to have them keep playing basketball.”

During the summer, Evart has had participation from 10 to 15 junior varsity players and up to 10 varsity performers, depending on the night.

“We’re going to try to get a couple of scrimmages with Reed City, probably at both places,” Alexander said. “it’s definitely important to keep the guys in a basketball mentality. If they pick up a basketball November through March, put it down and don’t pick it up again until November, it really hurts. They have to play basketball year long.”

Jon Hooker, a junior, said he usually plays in the fall at Morey Courts near Mount Pleasant and tries to get in some summer work.

“It helps us a lot,” he said, adding that working with teammates is important.