The Owls Hoot and They Score


Photo credit: aguafriaowls instagram

Julianna Martinez, OwlFeed Sports Reporter

The way the men’s basketball team tries to be better, the strategies they have, and all the things they work together on as a team all contributed to them taking the win. 

When talking about the men’s basketball team, I got the chance to speak to two of the captains and coach Lefebvre about how they felt preparing for the upcoming December 8th game.

I got the chance to speak to captain Grey Nadajijmana, about how he’s feeling for the game against west point. Grey states, “Me personally, I’m excited for that game. That’s the game to see where we’re at…but we’re all just excited for us and our team.” With all that being said from Grey Nadajijmana, I also spoke to coach Lefebvre about how he’s preparing his team for the upcoming games in the future.

Coach Lefebvre said, “It really comes down to structure and discipline for our guys. We’re preparing them to be, first and foremost, good quality student-athletes. Student is the key word; being good quality people on campus. Once we take care of that, we have great kids, phenomenal students, athletes, once we take care of that, everything else falls into place. On the court, conditioning is huge. Strength and conditioning coach, Rangel, does a fantastic job with them in the weight room. In practice, we’re always running…you know because we have to be able to push the basketball.”

That being said, I also got to ask Grey Nadajijmana how the team is preparing and trying to go for the win against them. He said, “Everyday at practice, I personally just try to tell everyone to take it seriously.  It’s a varsity sport so everyone is playing hard. Everyone is going hard to make each other better and definitely the chemistry work comes in, and if we play better together, we can play better in the game. It’s just easier for us to win that way.”

While also talking to Coach Lefebvre, I asked him how the practices are going so far. He stated, “Awesome! I think with our staff coming in new, it was a culture shock for them so they’re getting used to us and understanding our expectations. I think they’re almost there, like we just have to continue preparing this one brick at a time, one step at a time so we’re not going to look past today right now is what is important for us.”

Photo credit: aguafriaowls instagram

I got the chance to speak to another captain, De´Marion Anderson, on how he’s starting to feel about the season already here and starting. He said, “It’s exciting because I have a lot that we can build on and I feel like we have a great group of guys. A really special group of guys that can go out there and then make something happen on the court. So yeah, just excitement, that’s how I feel.” I also asked him if he thinks the chemistry is there with his teammates on the court and he said, “For sure…like a lot of us are returners so we all know each other. We all get along and what I think is special is that every single time were on the floor together is that bond and that chemistry it grows more.”

So when the game happened, the AFHS Men’s varsity basketball team won against West Point, a really good school at that, but they put in their all, made an effort, and came out victorious.

Later after the game on the 9th, I got back to the coach and captains on how they felt after winning that game against West Point. 

When I asked Captain Grey Nadajijmana on how he felt being in the court, he said, “Being on the court felt great. Yesterday, having our student section packed was great and we fed off the energy they gave throughout the game.¨

I spoke to Coach Lefebvre on how he thinks the players did and his thoughts about the win. “I feel we are progressing in each game. Our defense is definitely ahead of our offense.  We are truly grinding defensively. Offensively, we have so much potential, but we must keep it simple. We have been missing too many layups and also turning the ball over too much. We have a saying for our guys, and that saying is:  “BE GREAT AT SIMPLE!”  In other words, focus on the simple tasks and be the best at it. Be great at it. Take pride in it.  The simple will help us be successful as we progress through the season,” he said.

Furthermore he stated, “The win was great for our guys. It is nice to beat a team that is 2 conferences above us (they are 6A and we are 4A) and win the battle of Avondale. These early victories are great learning and teaching opportunities for our young men. We are very proud of them and we are grateful and proud of our student body, teachers, family, and fans packing the stands and being our 6th man.”

I spoke to Captain De’ Marion Anderson what was going through his head while playing with trying to win in mind. He stated, “Keep composure and get stops. The game is ours to win.”

So when’s the next game for them? Well you’re in luck because the next game is on December 14, it’s an away game at 4:00 pm against the Firebirds but the next home game for them will be on December 19 at 4:00 pm against Desert Edge. So you may want to go to both games and pack the stands while cheering them on!