Open gym sessions reflect basketball heat

The acclaimed legacies of last year’s varsity basketball teams have set high standards for this year’s teams, as the boys team went undefeated and the girls team placed third in the KAIAC tournament. In an attempt to replicate last year’s success and improve their basketball skills in the off-season, members of the boys team have followed the girls team’s lead in actively organizing pre-season open gym sessions after school.

“These open gyms are not just chances for players to show how much they have improved during the off-season,” said Jihoon An (12), varsity boys basketball player. “They are also opportunities for players, both new and returning, to get accustomed to playing with each other.”

According to Jihoon, many students find the sessions helpful in honing their skills and developing teamwork. The practices start with warm-up drills that target fundamental skills such as shooting, dribbling and passing. The students then divide into teams and play against each other to simulate a real game. Through such drills and matches, students are able to develop not only their individual skills, but also their teamwork by becoming familiar with each other’s playing style and learning to better perform their role in the team.

“The open gyms have definitely helped me alleviate the stress I feel before the start of each season,” said Yoona Sung (10), varsity girls basketball player. “This is crucial because I know that the more comfortable I am on the court, the better I can perform.”

In addition to helping the players become more skilled, the open gyms allow coaches to evaluate players’ skills. According to Tim Munro, varsity boys basketball coach, the open gyms give him an opportunity to observe which players possess a thorough understanding of the game, such as the ability to know when to make a pass, when to take a shot and where to be on the court based on the situation.

“From the open-gyms, I can already tell that the boys, especially the ninth and tenth graders, are very passionate and competitive,” Coach Munro said. “On the down side, however, this means it is going to be more difficult for me to make cuts in the tryouts. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to another great season.”