Hubers enjoy special relationship at Dundee-Crown
Jason Huber remembers playing Little Tykes basketball full-court with his father and older brother in the basement of the family home. All these years later, he and his father are together on the basketball court again.
His father, Lance Huber, just happens to be the head coach at Dundee-Crown, and Jason is a starting guard for the Chargers. And they couldn't be happier.
"I love playing for my dad," said Jason Huber, a senior. "I just love him as a coach. He always just wanted me to get better and for me to just be myself and to just try to be great."
He doesn't feel any extra pressure with his dad on the sideline.
"I'm just playing the game out there," said Jason, who helped the Chargers start the 3-0 and win the Sycamore Thanksgiving Tournament with a 56-54 overtime victory over Burlington Central in the championship game. Jason Huber scored 27 points in the win as the Chargers rallied from 15 points down in the final three minutes to force OT.
"It doesn't matter who's coaching me. It's just us 5-on-5 on the court and trying to do our thing. It's always been a goal to play for my dad, and I love it all the time."
In some cases, it can be awkward for both coach and player when they are related. Many coaches admit being harder on their own sons and daughters than on other players.
And there are always some who believe that the coaches' kids are only playing because they're the coaches' kids. But there has been little if any of that with the Hubers.
Lance Huber said he worried about how to handle playing time when his older son, Kyle, played for him. But he got some advice from Hall-of-Fame coach Jim Hinkle at Jacobs that put his mind at ease.
"He said, 'You know what, you need to play your kid more, he's a good player,'" Lance Huber said. "And after he said that it helped me relax that a Hall-of-Famer would notice that. But they've worked very hard and everything that they've got, they've earned it."
The coach said his sons have made those types of decisions easy.
"My kids have made it real easy on me as far as doing the right thing, hanging with the right crowd and being one of the hardest workers," said Lance Huber. "It's made my job real easy having those guys. But it's a memory and a joy that we'll always have together.
"He puts in tons of extra time to work on his game. He just does a great job, so I don't really have to get on him a lot. When I get on him, he accepts it and takes it. It's not a big deal."
Another advantage to coaching his son is that he never misses his games.
But it's not just Jason. Lance Huber has gotten to know virtually the entire senior class.
"These guys have grown up together," he said. "This group of kids I've been with since they've been in seventh grade. We have a big group of seniors and it's been a lot of fun."