Volume 31



On basketball and building friendships

Friendships make the high school experience better because those friendships make high school more rewarding
Gary Goldstein
Harvard-Westlake’s freshman basketball team in a huddle during halftime of their final game of the season against Chaminade on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
Opinion by Rohan Amin ’25 (Illustration by Spectrum / Photo by Lacey Wood Photography)

“It was enlightening and refreshing to be in a new environment on the team,” guard Hudson Chen ’25 said.
Chen reflected on the boys’ freshman team’s 21-22 season. The freshman team had 12 players and was led by head coach Thomas McBride and assistant coach Richard Lim.
Recently we ended our season with a hard fought 50-49 win over Chaminade. This capped off our amazing season. A season of wins, losses and friendship. We finished with a 12-5 record, and as the season progressed, we got better and better.
We started the season with two 3rd place finishes in tournaments, and were disappointed to not finish on top. As an all-freshman team in a frosh/soph league, we were forced to play older players, but we stuck it out together.
With the arrival of Omicron mid-season, the freshman team also had to deal with players missing games and games being cancelled.
“It was also disappointing that we weren’t able to play a lot of games due to COVID,” Chen said.
The freshman team had four games canceled and only one of these games was rescheduled. Dealing with COVID-19 was a challenge in and of itself and many times the long bus rides and games were us players’ only source of socialization.
“Being on the freshman basketball team has helped me make many friends this year,” center Gyasi Zinn ’25 said. “All of the time spent together on the court and off the courts, such as bus rides, made me appreciate everyone on the basketball team. Even though the season is already over, the friendships that I created on the freshman team mean a lot to me.”

Having friendships makes the high school experience better because you are able to make friendships that make high school more rewarding.
The freshmen team had six new 9th graders, who came into the school in the middle of the pandemic. By being on the freshman team, they were able to form friendships with their teammates, helping them ease their way into Harvard-Westlake (HW).
“Being new to the school, I didn’t have any friends I knew here, but being on the team helped me make connections with people who shared my interest,” Miles Toliver ’25 said. “Through practices, bus rides and games, I got to know people I would’ve never interacted with without being on the team, and also got to build friendships that will last.”
We lost a hard-fought home game to St. Francis 36-35 mid-season, but quickly put that behind us and finished the season on a three game winning streak. One of those wins came against rival Sierra Canyon, where we won 60-44. This win bonded us as it was both personal for our coach and many of the players.

“Even the unthinkable is possible,” head coach Thomas McBride said.
The freshman team was sad for the season to end as we finally felt like we were getting the momentum we had been wanting all season long. The freshman team had a season full of wins, but the biggest win of our season were the friendships made on and off the court. The hope is that these friendships will last until next year when many of us take the court together again.

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