The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

“Hoops and Hurdles”: Freshmen Basketball Players’ Experience Thus Far

As the final buzzer echoed through the gymnasium, a sense of frustration lingered in the air for the determined freshman basketball team. The scoreboard told a tale of their third defeat this season, with this loss against the Crawford Colts adding to their 0-2 record, a bitter pill to swallow for a group of aspiring athletes hungry for success. However, with many games left in the season, hope and determination is in the air. 


This year is one of many firsts for the freshmen, especially those on the basketball team. High school ball is a completely different animal compared to the middle school experience, as students must manage their time effectively, endure harder practices, and work with a completely new set of faces. However, to these aspiring ballers, the game opens many opportunities, as they are now part of a close-knit community, and are granted the chance to improve greatly, both as players and people as a whole. Their game against Crawford was on Nov. 28, after which they will play sixteen more games before the end of the season.


“I think it’s [the high school experience] a lot more competitive, the game moves at a much faster pace, and practices are definitely more serious,” freshman guard Albert Zhou said. “We can’t just lollygag like we did in middle school, I also think it’s a higher workload on your body, as we have more than one game per week.”


For many freshmen hoopers, their passion for the game was sparked by something, be it from a friend, family member, a famous player, or even a sense of improving oneself. All of these contribute toward the drive these players have, along with why they continue to put their best foot forward. Freshman point guard Deji Adeolu-Balogun says he got his inspiration from Kentucky Wildcats Freshman guard Rob Dillingham. 


“His mom passed away, and ever since then he’s been a very good player,” Adeolu-Balogun said. “So every time I see him and I know I still have my mom, I think of him as an inspiration. He just drives me basically, as even though you don’t have what you want, you still have the ability to work for it.”


With a third consecutive loss against Crawford, this game stands to highlight faults within the freshman team, as problems regarding team chemistry and player ability are put on display. 


“I feel like it [team chemistry] could be better because most of us did not take basketball as seriously and competitively in middle school,” forward Arad Mahni said. “However, we still push ourselves to do our best, and work as a unit.” 


Despite these early losses in the season, the experiences gained from these games provide a window of opportunity for growth, allowing both players and the team unit as a whole to learn and flourish as time progresses. And as with any sport, it is only up to the player whether or not they change their ways.


“As a team, I would like for us to start winning games, understanding our role and duty on the team, have better chemistry, and become better people in general,” forward Shane Cowarg said. “For me as an individual, I want to improve my skills like layups and passing, and simply become a more well-rounded player.”



*These quotes have been edited for the sake of clarity 


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Julian Barkouda
Julian Barkouda, Reporter
My name is Julian Barkouda, and I'm a junior here at CHS. I enjoy biking and running, and my goal for this year is to take more pictures at sports events.

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