The Grapevine boys basketball team is off to strong start in its new district this season and this due in no small part to the play of Daniel Eibel, a four-year starter for the Mustangs.
Coach Kevin Starnes said that Eibel has meant a lot to the Grapevine program and said that he brings a lot of different skills to the team.
“He brings leadership, and I think he brings a very competitive spirit to practices and games,” Starnes said. “I think he sets the tone work ethic-wise, as well. He invests a lot of time in improving his skills, and I think the other kids see that. He models behavior for them, which will benefit us.”
Averaging 19 points per game through his first three district games, one may assume that Eibel has some arrogance about his game, but Starnes said that nothing could be further from the truth.
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“He does a very good job of remaining coachable,” Starnes said. “In the heat of the moment, when emotions are high, all kids will struggle with seeing the bigger picture, but Daniel does a good job of listening and trying to do what he’s being asked to do.
“I think that is one of his strong points, because he has been with me since he was a freshman. He’s been with me a long time, and a kid who is cocky or is a know-it-all, by now would have tuned me out. He has not tuned me out. He still listens, and wants to get better.”
Eibel said that he believes the most important thing that he can do as a player is have a positive attitude and lead by example.
“We have a lot of younger guys on the team,” Eibel said. “So I really just try to bring a positive atmosphere and good leadership to the team. I just want to have a lot of positive energy and get the guys going.”
Eibel said that he thinks his team is on the right track this season to make a run at the playoffs.
“We’ve had some ups and downs this season, but with district starting up, we’ve kind of got the right mindset,” Eibel said. “We seem to have found our identity, and we’re playing good basketball.”
Eibel said his goals are to win district MVP and named to the all-region team individually, and win district and go a couple of rounds in the playoffs.
To have a successful season and get to the playoffs, Eibel said it will take a couple of things.
“It will take a team effort,” Eibel said. “Everybody has to be clicking. Everybody has to be on the same page. We can’t take one night off in district, and we have to bring intensity to every game.”
Starnes said Eibel has meant a lot to the Mustangs program and said he will be an important part of any success they have this season.
“I think he is pivotal,” Starnes said. “We play a team sport, so it’s five guys on the floor and five guys on the bench, and he contributes a lot to our team, and we’re lucky to have him.”
Eibel has committed to Oklahoma Christian University.
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