By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Year: Sophomore, Algonquin Regional High School
Coach: Brian Doherty
Notable Stats: Current Midland Wachusett League A scoring leader, averaging 17 points per game.
What are your earliest basketball memories?
“My earliest memorable basketball experience dates back to fourth grade, which was when I first tried out for a traveling team. It was my first year playing serious, competitive basketball, and my team won the championship. It definitely set the bar for how successful I wanted to be as I grew older.”
What has been the single most-special season to this point?
“This season has been the most special to me. As a team, we have great chemistry, and consider each other family. That's what we are. It's been really special to win games with these guys.”
Which coach has encouraged you to succeed?
“Every single coach I'se ever played for has shaped me as a player, and as a person. I's probably be a completely different person had it not been for my coaches.”
Which teammate has helped you through the ups and downs?
“Ever since fourth grade, Michael Stamas and I have been teammates. We hang out on, and off the court, and always push each other to be our best.”
What would you consider to be the best part of your game?
“I think the best part of my game is my defense. My role is to stand in/around the paint on defense, and be there to help a teammate if he gets beaten. With this style of play, I have to trust that my teammate is rotating over to prevent a pass to the now-open guy I was covering. If we do our job, the ball will usually get stolen, or we'sl force them to take a difficult shot. This is why we'se been successful on defense this year.”
What was the single most-special game you'se ever played in?
“The most-special game was when my AAU team made it to the state championship. It was a tough tournament, but we made it to the finals. We won the game, and I'sl always remember that feeling when the final buzzer went off. Realizing we won the state championship. I think back to that memory when there's a tough game and I need a little extra motivation.”
Though you'se still only a sophomore, have you started to think about any colleges?
“Nothing too serious yet, but I definitely want to play basketball at the next level. I'se been contacted by a few Division 1 coaches already. As long as I continue to improve my game, I'sl hopefully make it to that level.”
Do you prefer watching college or professional basketball?
“I prefer watching college basketball over any other sport on television. I feel like college hoops are more intense than professional basketball, because most the players have nothing to lose. College athletes don's get paid. They play for love of the game, and give their all for their team.”
Who is your favorite basketball player and team?
“I love the Boston Celtics, and rookie forward Jared Sullinger. He's fresh out of college, and works so hard on both ends of the floor. He has a bright future.”
What type of legacy would you like to leave behind at Algonquin?
“I want to be a member of the team that turned the program around, and made a state championship run.”