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College Basketball Team Thrives on Teamwork

The unheralded Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball team made it all the way to the 2023 NCAA Final Four. How did they make it that far, especially considering they had no superstars? They relied on teamwork. Nine players on this Owls team averaged 15-plus minutes during the season, and the starting rotation has changed several times.

"We really don't care who starts as long as you just impact the game," said sophomore guard Alijah Martin, who started 20 games that season. Another starter said, "It's probably the first team I've been on where really nobody cares about their stats. I feel like across the board, any game it's just a whole bunch of selfless guys just trying to get a win."

"If you feel like it could do better for the team, why not serve and make that happen?" another player said. "There's been many opportunities and many times when guys offered up their spot for somebody else. I feel like that just reflects on the type of people we are as humans, and it shows on the court."

This selfless team spirit was exemplified early in the season between a fifth-year senior named Boyd and Michael Forrest, who lost his starting job to Boyd because of an injury. When Forrest returned, Boyd offered to give up his starting role. May declined to make the change. Where that might have affected the dynamics of some teams, FAU continued to win. Forrest said, "It doesn't really matter who starts, who finishes, it just matters about what you do on the court. Everyone's just playing to win. Everyone's playing for each other. So that's really what the difference is."

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