NABA on the Mind

The 2019-20 season has arrived and predictions are flying!

Reese Marsalis, Staff Writer

The time of year has finally arrived. For a year, NASH and NAI students alike have anticipated the dropping temperatures, the break from school, and the holiday spirit enveloping the community. Never mind Thanksgiving or Christmas — it’s NABA season! 

As a friend of many NABA all-stars, an occasional NBA viewer, and a part of the 2019 Girls NABA Championship Team, I too look forward to basketball season. Competitiveness fills the hallways as the season commences. In every class, predictions are made, plans to attend are finalized, and playful banter is exchanged between players. 

Some may argue that the recreational basketball league is overhyped and that the games often become more competitive than the actual school’s team. To this, I cannot argue. I can undoubtedly say that, this season, tears will be shed, games will be won, and a new NABA champion will be crowned. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is NABA season. 

Disclaimer: none of these predictions mean anything, so if you are ranked last, I apologize. Try to prove me wrong. Good luck to all!

Team Cook: Dan Miller, Spencer Lunt, Luke Popelka, Scott Fitzgerald, Luke Costantakis, Joey Lydon, Andrew Cook, Santiago Ardiles, Slavik Comino

The first four picks for Team Cook are solid players all around. All seniors, these players have a good chance of leading the team to victory. With each having their own accomplishments in the association, Team Cook is ready to take the throne this year. 

Team Boris: Tim Ford, Drew Witt, Lane Trust, Zane Cox, Jacob Halfhill, Ethan Lawry, Chris Hanlon, Travis Patricca, Matt Bakkenist

Team Boris is compiled of seniors, which gives them a likely advantage. Each player has a NABA history, stacking the odds even further in their favor, not to mention the starting four have skills in all aspects. 

Team Bjorklund: Ben Bjorklund, Josh Humphries, David Sanfillipo, Jake Mellinger, Zack Orwig, Ben Chamis, Sonny Houghton, Kyle Beaver, Antonio Thedy

Team Bjorklund has a solid team with seniors Bjorklund, Mellinger, Orwig and Chamis leading the way. Rumor has it that juniors Humphries and Sanfillipo are ready to take the court. 

Team Frisco: Quentin Halyama, Will Frisco, Peter Lawless, Scott Stewart, Noah Brown, Braden Jones, Naveen Szymkowiak, Darsh Panshal, Nolan Lyle

Team Frisco stands as another solid team. Each player is skilled. Halyama stands out as a first-round pick as an all-around player. Frisco and Lawless excel at rebounding, while Stewart sinks them in from outside the 3. Jones is known for setting picks, though he did once sleep through a game.

Team Hydock: Kevin Schott, Joel Hydock, Henry Mokube, Owen Smith, Elliot Marsico, Ryan Shanahan, Sam Maldia, Bobby Hohman, Parker Lacher

Team Hydock includes many solid players with Schott as the first-round pick. Schott is known as being one of the NABA all-stars, but Hydock and Mokube will add to the success, no doubt. This team has the height and the skill to be one of the top sides. 

Team McCurdy: Cam McCurdy, Jake Winkworth, Jacob Gardner, Evan Holmes, James Celebrezze, Sam Giannetti, Alon Leshem, Hugh Du, Joe Jang

This team, under the veteran leadership of Cam McCurdy, will look to prove the league wrong and show that they have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs. McCurdy, a do-it-all guard, will provide consistency on both sides of the court. Athletic juniors in Jake Winkworth and Jacob Gardner will also provide sparks on both offense and defense. Despite their lack of senior depth, this team may be in a prime position to make a run come February.

Team Roman: Jason Roman, Ben Petschke, Sam Passodelis, Ryan Dougherty, Kevin Donovan, Matt Rodgers, Darien Sansosti, Braden Frank 

Team Roman is compiled of star athletes, ranging from football to soccer to baseball. Athleticism on this team is no question. The question is, however, can these boys shoot a basketball as well as they can shoot a soccer ball? 

Team Koneru: Andy Lake, Ben Phillips, Akash Koneru, Fran Sigmund, Mikhi Logan, Ashwin Cheekala, Zyad Siddiqui, Zach Brennan

Team Koneru has strength in height. They will be able to rebound and lay-up very well. But the dribbling aspect of the game may not be enough for a championship win. 

Team Pritchard: Matt Gardner, Nick Kairys, Jaylen Austin, Noah Pritchard, Max Kress, Ben Allshouse, Joe Stolarcyzk, Josh Trusedell

This team has potential. The three top picks are all ball dominant players, so if they can all share the ball.  Expect big things. Gardner has the height and this team will be the best rebounding squad in the league. 

Team Turzai: Ben Rohan, Michael Mosbacher, Luca Caggiano, Matt Turzai, Mike Delucia, Logan Henderson, Connor McLeod, Andrew Myers

This junior roster has the best potential for an all-junior team. With strong skills and athleticism, this team will be a test for the seniors. Not to mention Mosbacher under the net ready to dunk. 

Team Palmer: Brady Palmer, Bryson Meyers, Mike Dignazio, Ben Mitchell, Sean Metcalf, Christian Smith, Nico Sobien, Andy Lucas

A primarily junior team, Team Palmer will win some games. I presume this team will be better than average, being led by first and second picks Palmer and Meyers.  

Team Goodman: Mason Kress, James Tolan, Joe Lang, Adam Steinmetz, Caden Farrell, Ben Lawrence, Max Shafran, Abe Pitz

Another junior team, Team Goodman will be in the middle range of wins and losses.  I expect that this team could excel in either direction. 

Team Withrow: Mike Dorn, Danny Gallon, Bene Caputo, Evan Anthony, Adam Gould, Ben Withrow, Alex Joy, Chris Baker, Michael Kuna

A junior team, Team Withrow will most likely have a few wins, but will they be able to stand against the seniors? That I am not sure of. Maybe next year will be their year…

Team Arnold: Mitch Arnold, Ryan Miltenberger, JJ Dopkoski, Nate Hess, Jack Hammer, William Stasko, Chris Kirschler, Trevor Carney, Ariel Chamis

Team Arnold will no doubt win games, but playoff worthy? Senior Arnold leads the team with his experience, skill, and athleticism. The rest of the team is compiled of a junior/senior mix, giving them knowledge about opponents in both grades. 

Team Sciote: Matt Direnzo, Dom Harrell, Frankie Scolieri, Aiden Miller, Roman Sciote, Nick Eck, Braeden Young, Ben Madison, Sean Griffin

Team Sciote has skills. They will win some games. Seniors Direnzo, Harrell, and Scolieri will lead the team.

Team Donahue: Sam Sheridan, Adam Balkey, Hayden Sheets, Justin Samuels, Regan Racicot, Dylan McDonough, Isaiah Evans, Colin Donahue

Team Donahue could have potential, but with first-round pick Sam Sheridan out until January with an injury, the odds are not looking good. A new star has to rise up for this team to have a shot at the playoffs. 

Team Hitson: Ethan Gavlik, Nate Hoke, Peter Carioto, Tim Ditka, Benson Yu, Colby Melzer, Liam Kenny, Nick Hitson

This team has potential to develop chemistry throughout the season with a big forward in Nate Hoke and serviceable point guards in Ethan Gavlik and Peter Carioto. However, an early absence from Hoke due to injury could delay this team’s success and possibly hurt this team’s chances of making it far in the playoffs.  Team Hitson may win some games, though many presume otherwise. 

Team Zhou: Sari Abu Hamad, David Chen, Sohan Bolisetti, Sanath Paniker, Nick Brar, Om Chauhan, Josh Zhou, Saif Ali, Max Melnyk

For team Zhou, rumors are not in their favor. The first and second picks, Abu-Hamad and Chen, will possibly carry the team to a win. Possibly.


All of that being said, none of it is meant to be taken too seriously. Good luck to all!