The U16 boys National League season was a great success in many ways. Simply managing to navigate through covid interruptions and completing all regular season matches, was a feat in itself. Coaches, Carlos Henry and Pras Gengatharan teamed up to select and run the team. Their goal was to give the boys opportunities to develop their understanding of the game and how it can be structured. Included in this, was learning offensive and defensive principles to deal with man-to-man and zone sets. “We could see the improvement in every player’s timing and decision making. As the season progressed, the boys were learning to pass with more precision, particularly in a screen and roll situation,” Head Coach Carlos relayed. Starting point guard, Kai Peter Callery, had a standout season as floor general, gaining valuable experience in this position. His ability to handle the ball, and make sharp changes of direction in the paint, was a key to staying competitive with the stronger teams in the league. He developed a consistent 3 point shot and helped to push the ball on the fast break. Alongside Kai, was David Wells who torched opposition with his blistering speed and acrobatic finishes in traffic. David led by example with a fantastic attitude. He developed a consistent free throw style that helped win at least two matches alone. The ceiling is high for both of these players. The heart and soul of the team must be Miguel Hinojosa Berrocal, who played with a ferocity every second on the court. His high intensity play gave the team a toughness that is necessary to compete in the National League. Holding the fort, down low, were Charlie Bruce and Oscar Nye Verger. They ripped down numerous rebounds helping the team in every match. On the offensive end, they both developed a nice 12-foot jump shot, showing a weapon for the near future. Rounding out the starters, was Matthew de Zoysa who showed his potential. On several occasions he turned heads with some off-balance one foot shots and athletic baseline drives. The coach from the Worthing Thunder specifically mentioned that he liked his game and that he thought he could develop into a very good player one day. Of the supporting cast, there were some fantastic ‘individual’ shooting performances from Levi Henry, Toby Bishop and Ivan Espenilla all hitting the three with confidence. Included was James Denyer who hit his stride towards the latter stages, which was pleasing for the whole team who cheered him on. On the defensive end Ralph Bishop, Daniel Arabambi-Ogundola and Kerem Sever were strong and came up with some momentum changing steals, rebounds and stops. New to the game and showing immense promise for next season is Ocean Cawley, Roscoe Bradbury, Joe Hetherington and Toby McAdams. The overall team results included wins against Brighton Cougars, Sussex Storm, Sussex Bears, Bognor Regis and Winchester Royals with 4 losses within 6 points including a tough effort against Worthing thunder. Overall, the team atmosphere was great all season and Coach Carlos and Pras thank each player and their families for their commitment to the season.
“I have been impressed at how coachable and committed our boys were to have a good season and to continue improving their individual and team game. I will always remember this particular group for being up for any challenge.”