Troy’s loss has proven to be Elsberry’s gain as Indians inherit a defensive juggernaut.
He may not have played basketball during his freshman and sophomore years as a Troy Trojan, but Caleb Eisenbath is definitely making up for lost time as an Elsberry Indian.
“He hustles his rear off,” said Coach Ryan Parker. “He gives 100 percent all the time. He doesn’t say much, but he has that workman type attitude day in and day out.”
Making the move from a large school district such as Troy to one as small as Elsberry might have been a difficult transition for some, but Eisenbath found a way to make the change work to his advantage.
“I think he adjusted to the students and teachers fairly well,” said Coach Ryan Parker. “He became a big fish in a small pond instead of a small fish in a big pond during this transfer. I think he found that there is a great fit and feeling about a small school.”
With basketball season not starting until later in the school year, the timing of Eisenbath’s move also worked in his favor.
“I think it helped out that practice/basketball didn’t start until November,” said Parker. “That gave him that adjustment time to get to know most of the guys. We have good guys on this team and they welcomed him with open arms.”
Eisenbath, a junior who also plays baseball, is extremely quiet and soft-spoken about his contributions to the team this season and his goals for the future are remarkably unselfish.
“My goal is to become a better basketball player for this team,” said Eisenbath. “I want to contribute more. I want to become a better three-point shooter and to execute on offense.”
Many of Eisenbath’s teammates have already taken note of his talents and abilities and are impressed by the contributions that he has made so far.
“Caleb brings a lot of heart and a lot of energy to the team, especially on defense,” said center Kenny Lesley. “He’s always working his butt off and he just never quits. That’s one really good thing that we need on this team.”
Despite Eisenbath’s smooth transition from one school district to the next, he still had to overcome a fairly significant learning curve on the basketball court this season.
“This year he has been thrown into the mix without playing basketball for the previous two years,” said Parker. “He has done some really good things for us but is continuing to learn and to catch up from the years that he missed.”
For the most part, Parker has placed the responsibility for Eisenbath’s development on the shoulders of senior Charles Fraction.
“They play a similar position,” said Parker. “He (Eisenbath) can learn a lot from him (Fraction)-not all on the court but off as well.”
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