By Tyler Chung
For some students, basketball season is the most competitive and serious time of the year. This year’s season began with tryouts in the middle of November and will end around the end of January, but can continue depending on whether or not the team advances into playoffs and goes to NCS.
Players practice six days a week from 5:30 to 8 p.m. during school nights and 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings. The team is not required to attend study hall yet but will be required to in the near future, according to players.
Basketball is a sport that requires a great amount of dedication, hard work and determination. But for some, the most nerve-wracking part of the game is trying out for the team.
Some athletes, such as junior Jake Paulus, even gave up other sports to dedicate time to their hoops. “It’s a very serious and rigorous time of the year. I didn’t play football this year just so I could focus on basketball,” Paulus said.
Many others begin training and working out in advance to get themselves in shape for when the season starts. “To prepare for the basketball season I go hit the weights, run the beach, and eat right,” sophomore Andre Baker said.
Paulus has his own pre-season routine. “I go to the 24-Hour Fitness gym in Oakland and play pickup games against experienced hoopers.”
Senior Jake Coyne also has a practice routine. “I prepare for basketball season by going to the Alameda Point open gym every Sunday to get some extra work in.”
If players don’t have a gym membership, they improvise. “Usually I will go shoot down at Lydecker Park down the street from where I live and play pickup games to get back in the groove,” junior Tony Riley says.
All students returning to the basketball team this year believe that the basketball team will do well this year in their league. “If we work hard I believe we can accomplish our goals and make it to playoffs,” Paulus said.
Baker agrees. “Realistically I think we could lose one or two games but I believe we will do pretty good this year.”
“I believe that if everyone keeps working hard then hopefully hard work will pay off,”Riley said.
Each player believes that their team will perform well by having good chemistry with each other. “We will come together as a team with all the young talent we have in comparison to the seniors and become a unified hard working team,” Paulus said.
Baker agrees. “I think a good way for us to come together as a team is to go out to eat for team dinners every so often.”
Riley seems to have a pretty good understanding of how he will get the team to come together. “I think we will become close to each other by building bonds with each other on and off of the court,” he said.
Coyne shares his opinion on the extra experience the team has. “I’ve known all the players since freshman year so I think we already have good chemistry and know how each other plays so we have an advantage over teams consisting of mostly new players.”
With new coaching staff this year, the players feel that they could be more successful than last season. “I find the new head coach intelligent and feel he knows what he’s doing,” Paulus said.
Coyne is also optimistic about new head coach Cameron Quick. “I’m happy to have the new head coach here this year. I feel like he can really make a difference in our success and I feel that he really knows his stuff.”