When top-seeded Villanova takes the court in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, they’ll have more than Nova Nation behind them.
They’ll have Scouting Nation, too.
That’s because Josh Hart, the leader (and leading scorer) for Villanova, is an Eagle Scout.
Even if you don’t bleed navy and white, there’s plenty of reason to cheer for the Wildcats. For me, the list starts with how vocal Hart has been about the ways in which Scouting prepared him for life.
“It teaches you certain things in every walk of life,” he told ESPN in a three-minute segment you can watch here. “It teaches you leadership, how to Be Prepared. Don’t feel like things are too much. Just push through it, and that’s when your character comes through.”
Need another reason? One of Villanova’s band directors is George Pinchock, an Eagle Scout and longtime Scouter. He led the Jamboree Band in 2013 in Charleston, W.Va. (Read about their lights-out show here. Learn about 2017 Jamboree Band needs here.)
No cake walk
Villanova opens play against Mount St Mary’s at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Thursday on CBS.
Their opponent is seeded 16th — the lowest possible seed. No 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1, and Hart doesn’t want to become part of history. Not like that anyway.
In a Philadelphia Tribune article appropriately titled “In Josh Hart, Nova has a leader,” Hart said you can’t treat any game as an easy win.
“It’s about competing every game,” he said. “None of these games are cake walks. If you go in thinking they’re going to be a cake walk, you’re going to be humbled. This game will humble you. So, we know that. We know we have attention to detail. We have to bring it every game.”
Hart, who led Villanova to a 2016 NCAA Championship, is proof that you can be a Scout and a successful athlete.
But the likely future NBA star wasn’t always sure there’d be time for both. As basketball consumed more and more time, he contemplated giving up on a Scouting career that had started in Cub Scouting. But his dad encouraged him to stick with it.
“My dad said, ‘Let’s get in the car and go somewhere.’ He just pulled right up to the troop meeting and said, ‘you’re gonna finish what you started,’” Hart says. “I promised him I was going to finish, and kept thinking that I made a promise.”
He fulfilled that promise a week before his 18th birthday. Hart earned Scouting’s highest honor as a member of Rockville, Md.-based Troop 1083 of the National Capital Area Council.
Learn more about Hart’s work ethic in this piece by Philadelphia Scouter Ed Lynes.