Basketball Shoots This Season’s Hoops

Ahnsa Campbell, Staffer

Although the first semester is drawing to a close, the LBJ boys’ basketball team is getting ready for a new season and a chance at the playoffs. As this year’s season begins and the offseason comes to an end, the athletes are looking forward to this season’s games. According to senior Archer Saenz, LBJ’s varsity basketball team has some of the most talented players to come through the program in years.
“We’re looking better this year, probably the best team we’ve had for the years that I’ve been here, and probably the best team we’re going to have for a little bit,” Saenz said. “Jordan Teal who’s the reigning district MVP and we’ve got Antwan McMillan who’s a four-year varsity player. We’ve got a lot of guys who put in a lot of work this past offseason, looking good.”
According to Saenz, the improvement players have made in the offseason has made him hopeful for a very successful season. The end goal is to make it to and win the state tournament. Junior Raj Ramachandran said he is very excited for this season and thinks that a state championship win is achievable.
“Everybody’s hope is state,” Ramachandran said. “I think we can, we’ve got a pretty good senior class, seven seniors this year, and it’s probably the best team we’ve had in the past three or four years.”
After a few scrimmages, the official basketball season started on Tuesday, Nov. 19 against Vista Ridge. The team’s first game went smoothly, according to Ramachandran, and he said that multiple players took responsibility for scoring points.
“We’ve had one game and we had four guys in double digits,” Ramachandran said. “I think Jordan led the way, he had like 20-something. Ja’sean has double figures, Antwan has double figures and then Isaiah also had double figures. He had 16.”
According to Ramachandran, teamwork and contribution from the players have also played a large role in how the team has performed and how they aim to do in the future this season. He believes that the team works together well and the individual players also put in a lot of work during games.
“We won pretty well and we got lots of production from everybody, so it’s encouraging that a lot of people are contributing because you need that on a team that’s going to make a deep run,” Ramachandran said. “You need a lot of guys that are ready to step up. So, so far the results are encouraging.”
Saenz said one of his goals is staying injury-free this year. Last year, an injury forced him to miss a lot of the season.
“Last season I tore my meniscus, and missed the entire district and playoffs, that wasn’t fun,” Saenz said. “So I’m trying to stay healthy again this year and play all the way through.”
Saenz said if all goes well, the team has a great shot at getting to and hopefully winning the state tournament. He said the team seems to be operating efficiently, and he hopes the rest of this season will turn out to be just as promising as the start and that the Jags will continue to do well.
Varsity assistant coach Kristopher Clack said he is also very optimistic for this season and proud of what the team has done so far. This is Clack’s first year coaching varsity basketball and he believes that this year’s team they have strength and ability to play successfully and is looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I think our biggest strength is that we’re very athletic,” Clack said. “We’ve got some guys that have a very good basketball IQ, a lot of them playing summertime and year-round basketball.”