New team, same game

Denly excited to complete basketball career at Yutan


Courtesy Photo

Senior Ben Denly plays in a basketball game at Gretna High School last season. Denly will finish his basketball career this year at Yutan.

Making the decision to transfer schools is not always easy. But for senior Ben Denly, this choice was simple because it would allow him to continue playing the sport he loved.

“I transferred to Yutan mainly for basketball,” Denly said. “I just didn’t think I would have the best senior season at Gretna for basketball.”

Growing up in Winfield, Kan., then moving to Gretna in sixth grade, Denly participated in many sports, but basketball is the one he stuck with. 

“I’ve grown up playing basketball,” Denly said. “I have always had a true passion for it.”

Leaving his friends of six years behind was not easy, but Denly knew that he made the right choice when it came to being able to continue to do what he loves. 

Denly was introduced to Yutan by a close friend and fellow teammate, senior Jake Richmond, who transferred as a sophomore. Having that familiar face here at Yutan made the transition even easier. 

“I had known Jake for a while before I transferred to Yutan,” Denly said. “I met a bunch of the team when Jake transferred in, and I really liked all the kids here.”

Denly is excited for the season to start and to see what position he fills for the team.

“In the past, I’ve played more guard, like point guard and shooting guard,” Denly said. “But this year with our size, since it’s a lot different, I could really get put wherever Coach wants me.”

Denly is eager to see how the season goes, especially with Yutan moving to Class C1 this year. 

“I’m really just hoping to have a good season and to get closer with the guys,” Denly said. “The big challenge of the season is to see how the team does now that we are bumped up a class.”

Despite Denly’s love for the game, he does not want to play in college but rather focus on his future and career.

“I do not want to play in college, as much as I love basketball. I feel like it will benefit me a lot to just work on my school work and future,” Denly said.

Since this is his last basketball season, Denly is looking forward to finishing his basketball career at Yutan and getting to know his individual teammates.

“I’m overall just super excited to get to play with all of the boys,” Denly said. “Since this is my last year playing, I’m looking forward to one final ride in the sport I have loved for so long.”