Portola Pilot

JV Boys’ Basketball Shoots for a Strong 2017-18 Season

Sophomore+Jeffrey+Chen+attempts+to+make+a+basket+during+a+drill+at+practice.
Sophomore Jeffrey Chen attempts to make a basket during a drill at practice.

Sophomore Jeffrey Chen attempts to make a basket during a drill at practice.

Helena Hu

Helena Hu

Sophomore Jeffrey Chen attempts to make a basket during a drill at practice.

Helena Hu, Social Media Director

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JV boys’ basketball has been working since the start of the school year in order to prepare for its upcoming season. As the first home game approaches against Northwood High on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., nervous energy within the team has set in. Last year’s 22-1 record sets the bar high for this season.

“It  felt really good last year, because it was a great team experience for us and we obviously would like to do that again, and we’re just really working hard to make a great season,” sophomore Garrett Lim said. “We love being together, and it helps us on the court because we have really good team chemistry, and we play really well together.”

This year’s JV team is comprised of 15 sophomores, including last year’s starting five Jeffrey Chen, Robert Giraldy, Saif Habibeh, Mohsen Hashemi and Jared Van Haeren, as well as one freshman. For freshman Tyler Huang, the expectations of keeping up with the team and maintaining standards are high. However, returning players have put in an effort to make him feel at home.

“[Being the only freshman] feels good, but there’s a lot of pressure. It forces me to work harder, compete with other players, making me better,” Huang said. “[Last year’s players] are really friendly and made me feel like I was a part of the family.”

One highlight of this season is that the players will be competing in a varsity tournament. This gives the team an opportunity to prepare for next year’s varsity squad as well as get a taste of ,how other schools compete.

“We’re trying to change the mindset that we’re not just playing as a JV squad; we’re trying to play as a varsity squad, and that’s how we’re running practices right now, as a varsity team,” head coach Brian Smith said.

The players said they are looking forward to having other students come support them at games, and to get the ball rolling on the season.

“I’m excited to have our first home games so we can hopefully get some students here and start building that culture here of winter sports and students going and having fun at the games,” Smith said.

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JV Boys’ Basketball Shoots for a Strong 2017-18 Season