Naugy’s Foote a versatile weapon on the court

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Naugatuck forward Husani Foote (35) has proven to be the most versatile player on the court as the Greyhounds prepare for a push to make the Naugatuck Valley League tournament. –RA ARCHIVE
Naugatuck forward Husani Foote (35) has proven to be the most versatile player on the court as the Greyhounds prepare for a push to make the Naugatuck Valley League tournament. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck forward Husani Foote grabbed a rebound last week and raced up the court towards the Naugy hoop.

As he approached the basket, a Sacred Heart defender committed to guard him and Foote found a streaking Brandon Kuczenski, who converted the fast break with a layup.

In a matter of seconds, everyone in attendance witnessed how versatile Foote can be. Throughout the game it became even clearer.

Foote hit a jumper and was fouled. Minutes later, he muscled his way under the hoop and tipped in a teammate’s missed shot for two more points.

The next trip down court, Foote converted on a strong drive to the hoop for two points and forced a Sacred Heart timeout.

Later in the half, the 6-foot-4 Foote played defense on the perimeter against a smaller guard. With about minute to go in the second quarter, Foote brought the ball up the court on offense.

In a matter of 16 minutes of game time, Foote had played almost every position on the court. He finished with 20 points in the game and helped Naugy clinch a spot in the state tournament with a 58-52 win, the Greyhounds’ eighth of the year.

“He can play one through four, maybe even the five, at times, he can do a little bit of everything for us,” Naugy head coach Mike Wilson said of the senior.

Foote continues to show why he’s become Naugatuck’s most versatile player. And he enjoys getting involved in all facets of the game: scoring from inside and outside, passing, dribbling and playing defense.

There still seems to be plenty of potential for Foote to further improve his game. Wilson has been stressing another point of the game — the mental aspect.

“I tell him that when you step on the court there’s going to be a spot in the game when you have a mismatch,” Wilson said. “It’s a matter of Husani understanding when and where to take advantage of those opportunities.”

For all his talents, Foote said he most enjoys distributing the ball.

“I like passing because I like to get my teammates involved before I get going,” Foote said. “It’s not just me out there; it’s a whole team effort. There’s no ‘I’ in team.”

More specifically, he’s been working on handling the ball in the post position.

“Coach and I have been working on my post game — when I get the ball in the post, seeing what’s open, seeing if I can pass it,” Foote said. “I’ve been rushing it, and haven’t been patient.”

Foote said Naugy is not where it wants to be in the standings, but clinching a postseason berth gives the ‘Hounds a chance to still make the season special. The Greyhounds are scheduled to play at Crosby on Friday at 7 p.m. following a 10-day layoff due to the blizzard.

“We’ve had a little bit of rough season,” Foote said of Naugy, which entered play this week with an 8-8 record and still battling for the last spot in the league tournament. “We aren’t where we expected to be, but we still have a chance. We qualified for the states, now we have to qualify for the NVLs.”