They call themselves the Breakfast Club, and they get a lot more done before 9 a.m. than some folks do in a day.
“We come in and shoot, lift weights, it’s quiet,” said Weatherford College basketball player Arthur Kimani, one of three sophomores, along with Deris Duncan and Josh Tatum, who have a regular routine.
They arrive at the Betty Jo Graber Athletic Center around 6 every morning, sometimes as early as 5:30. Depending on when class starts, they stay until around 8 or 8:30.
“First and foremost, there’s nobody in the gym,” said Deris. “My dad used to tell me to get up early. I’ve always been a morning person.”
“To get up that early, it shows how dedicated you are to something,” said Tatum.
Duncan said a typical day starts with the alarm going off around 5:30 a.m.
“You struggle to get up, but it feels good,” he said. “You brush your teeth, eat some oatmeal, and head to the gym.”
Workouts are followed by coffee, breakfast, classes, afternoon practice, homework, or games, and...
“Sleep,” he said with a laugh.
Kimani said practicing so early is not only peaceful, it allows them to focus on the finer points of their game.
“If you really want to get better, get in there and work on individual points,” he said.
“Afternoon practice is for the team. This is the time to work on individual things,” added Tatum.
Kimani said the Breakfast Club started when one day he teammate Tonko Vuko decided to get up early and go the gym in 2013. There
they found Kevin Francesci practicing.
“Kevin used to come in the mornings. We said let’s start working out together,” said Kimani.
Then, last season Tatum and Duncan joined in. And though Francesci (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and Vuko (University of the Pacific) are gone, the “tradition” continues.
“Once you get here and the lights come on, it’s motivating,” said Duncan.
“Once you get started, once you get to the gym and get started, the sleepiness wears off,” said Tatum.
“It’s what I love to do, play basketball, and I don’t care what time of day it is. But it is nice in the morning.”