By Jennifer Shmukler and Benjamin Stemmer
For most basketball players, the summer is their offseason. It is the optimal time for them to perfect their craft as individuals; free time equals practice time. For Brooklyn Tech basketball players, the summer provides the critical time needed to improve their unique skills. Especially for one of Tech’s star players, Niles Ellis, who says, “I definitely worked on my ball-handling and my shooting a lot.”
Now that summer is over and the school year is in full swing, many students are anticipating the upcoming season. The Varsity basketball players, who worked individually over the summer, must now collaborate to form a functioning team. As the head coach of the team, Coach Stephen Gigliello, known as Coach “G” puts it, “Off-season makes the players, but in-season makes the team.”
Coach G has made it clear that their priority is to win, and to do that the players must work as a team. “The offseason is over. Self-improvement is no longer the priority. What matters now is everyone coming together and communicating on the court in order to lose as few games as possible and to make it into the playoffs.”
With less than a month left until the first scrimmages of the season begin, there is a lot of excitement going around the school. After making the New York City PSAL playoffs in 2012, Brooklyn Tech Varsity suffered a losing season and missed out on postseason play.
Coach G commented that, “Last year was a rebuilding year. This year [the players] are more experienced.”
Despite last season not being a successful one, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have any positives. As he said, the returning Varsity players gained a wealth of knowledge from last year’s season, which they will use in the upcoming season.
The starting Small Forward from last year’s team, Niles Ellis, agreed, “Coming from last season, we learned a lot, so expectations are really high this year.”
As for expectations from herself and the team, assistant coach Asimida Besler also said, “It was saddening to see the looks on their faces when they realized that their dreams for making it into the playoffs no longer had the chance of becoming reality. I know that they can do better and if pushing them is what it takes, then I’ll do it.”
The more experience the players have, the higher the expectations of the coaches, the players, and the crowd have for this next season. When Coach G was asked what he expects from his team this season, he answered, “Wins. A lot of wins.”