Buffalo hoops buy in on family-like culture

The Villages boys basketball head coach Colt McDowell, center, with his team at the Villages High School Gym on Friday.

For Colt McDowell, it started in the barns. To those privy to life on a farm, it’s understood that a lot of things begin there. The basis of hard work. The sense of believing in process and having a purpose. The lesson learned of doing something the right way if it’s worth doing at all. It then began to take shape for him in high school. A transformative period of time for most as is, but one that was personally ushered in and impacted by a mentor — with word and teachings worth their weight in gold — who still inspires today. And finally, it was cemented in personal tragedy.

Somewhere lost in the dark caverns of grief and sorrow, while mired in guilt and despair, its light was returned and so, too, was the meaning of it all.

“It” is the way The Villages High School boys basketball team operates.

“It” is how the core values of hard work, service and having fun come together to create success for the Buffalo on the court.

But most importantly, “it” is the culture created by McDowell that his team is — and forever will be — a family.

“For our program and the way we do things, we have a process and it’s relationship driven,” McDowell said. “I’ve come to realize family is one of the most important things in the world. When that ball stops bouncing someday and our time to play or coach together is done, it’s the relationships that survive when all else comes to an end.

“And everything I’ve gone through in my life has proven that to me to be true.

Read this story and many others in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Sun.