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Heschel Basketball Takes on New Leadership

Heschel has hired new coaches for the 2023-2024 Junior Varsity and Varsity Boys and Girls basketball seasons. Under this new leadership, the basketball teams aim to gain skills and insight into the game, hopefully leading the teams to championships. 

Coach Issa Skinner was hired to assist returning coach, Crayton Barry for the Boys JV Basketball team. Looking past their first game of the season–a loss to Frisch 50-42–members of the team have said Coach Issa has provided the team with energy, new skills, and lots of basketball knowledge. This year, there are a staggering twenty-two players on the JV boys team, the most in its history. Both Coach Barry and Coach Issa are working to make sure every player can get court time while striving to win the championship. They provide specific information for each player in practice and implement new plays and strategies to make sure the team is ready for upcoming games. They bring a high level of intensity that will meld the team from a group of individuals to one strong, smart, and motivated unit. 

 Coach Ethan Nardone was hired to take over as head coach for the Boys Varsity basketball team. 

“As soon as we stepped into the first practice, everything was extremely organized,” Captain Tal Visser said. “We have learned a new innovative defensive strategy and a multitude of plays that will lead us to success. Coach Nardone is very clear in his instruction, and intelligent in his execution, by modeling plays by high-level college and NBA coaches.” 

Despite a loss in the first scrimmage against Eleanor Roosevelt High School, the team bounced back and won in a double overtime thriller against Ohr Yisroel in their season opening game. All of the players have already made major improvements in their skills, and are excited to learn and grow throughout the season under the skilful coaching of Coach Nardone. 

Coach Felix Puno was hired for the Girls JV Basketball team. 

When asked about the season, Coach Puno said: “I’m excited; this is my first year as a head coach. [I’m] going back to the fundamentals because I think that’s one of the most important pieces especially at the JV level: to understand basketball and learn basketball, not just run plays.” 

The girls on the team are just as excited for the start of the season. 

“It’s a fresh start for JV basketball, and I’m happy that we can all come together to do something that we love,” sophomore Libe Wartski said.

This is also the girls team’s first year being part of the Yeshiva league. 

Sophomore Molly Stevens said: “I really like how they put us in the Yeshiva league and it’s really fun getting to travel to see Jewish kids from other schools.” 

Despite losing their first game to the Elon Invaders, the girls are motivated and determined to work hard and win the rest of the season!

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