Our team flew to New York City this December from the 7 to the 11th to play against the best high school teams in the state of New York. Jesuit sends it’s basketball team every two years to a tournament that occurs in different cities around the nation. This year, the Knight Classic tournament was held in New York City against teams such as Holy Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Long Island Lutheran.
The whole team believed this to be a team bonding experience. The games were indeed important, but the ability to get to know each player and become better friends was what many players got from the experience. Reid Hatzmann ’18 believed the “New York trip was one of the best experiences he’s had.” Overall, many players felt that way, stressing that the ability to get to know each other was what helped the team form bette chemistry, on the court and off.
The team was able to do many things during their long weekend trip in the Big Apple. The team walked everywhere and was able to sightsee all through Manhattan. The players loved roaming New York. They were able to see the 9/11 Memorial, see Fordham University, and go to Times Square. Joey Preboy commented that they “created a hashtag ‘ jcp2nyc’, made great photos together, and ate a substantial amount of pizza everywhere they went.” The guys were able to see snow while shopping and walking together and were able to bond late at night through Xbox and Gamecube games. “This really explained why we are a family.”
The team had fierce competition on the court. The tournament was very competitive but they were able to learn a lot about themselves in those games in order to improve. Although they lost their first game, it allowed them to improve and become a better team and eventually win the tournament against the final two teams. Reid Hatzmann knew that the goal was “to make sure we recovered from the loss and continue to play hard as a team. We were able to do that and that’s what helped us win.” Coach Hill believed that “the basketball was good but the way the guys handled themselves was spectacular. Even the game we lost was a respectable effort and we got some good things to learn from.” Joey and the team “learned [their] strengths and weaknesses and became a better team due to the competition they had in NYC.”
Overall, the team both fought hard to win and was able to have fun. Although the tournament was very competitive, it was a learning experience for everyone including the team staff. The Basketball team was able to proudly represent the Jesuit spirit, Coach Hill was amazed, “as the boys represented us well. We will definitely go the city again.” Although not all games were a win, the tournament was a great success as “[they] played solid competition and the players became closer as a team. Importantly, even the game [they] lost was a respectable effort.” The basketball team excelled inside and outside the court, showing exactly what Jesuit is all about.