Sam Kuhna & Mikey Sullivan ’13 | Staff Writer & Photo Editor
Neighborhood Club Basketball will return to high school students, on Saturday, Dec. 1.
For 20 years, the neighborhood club, has been in charge of putting together this league, said Jim Troyer, the recreation supervisor.
“I am very excited about this year,” said Troyer. “We have 20 teams spanning from the freshman class all the way up to the senior class.”
This year’s teams will be divided up into two leagues, one league will be strictly for sophomores and freshmen and the other will be for juniors and seniors, Troyer said. Along with South and North, teams from U of D Jesuit and De La Salle will be playing in the league as well.
Neighborhood Club offers high school students the chance to play at a level that is fun yet still competitive. Kids who do not want the commitment of playing high school sports are able to play in structured games without worry.
Alex Peters ’13 was a member of the 2012 championship Kings team he said his team is looking for a repeat of its championship year.
“We lost some key players this year,” said Peters of his team. “We went from a size based team to more of a fast break squad.”
The defending champs are looking to dominate teams around South as they went undefeated against all South teams last year, losing only to a Grosse Pointe North team, Peters said.
Not only is assembling the team part of the fun, but creating unique jersey is important as well, Meade Maxwell ’13 said. Players have the opportunity to buy and design their own jerseys, shorts, socks, and warm-ups to their liking.
“Three different jerseys, custom socks and official NBA Knicks warm-ups,” said Maxwell of the team’s apparel. “We went all out this year.”
This year is one of the largest in the 20 year history of the Neighborhood Club High School league, Troyer said. Kids are looking forward to getting the opportunity to play a variety of teams from all around the Pointes.
“I am most excited to play the North teams,” said Bennett Jackson ’14 of the Wizards. “We want revenge from last year; they beat us pretty bad.”
This year Troyer said he had to add Brownell to the list of venues to accommodate the large league. The games are played on Saturdays and Sundays in December, January and February only taking a break during Winter Break.
Key players: Zach VanElslander, Jacob Yglesias
Biggest rival: Kings
The Hawks might be the biggest team in the league, but lack the ability to play as a team. Although loaded with new talent, two new starters and limited practice time isn’t the best mix. Expect early struggles.
- Evan Enders, point guard
- Sam Kuhna, shooting guard
- Marcus Maniscalco, small forward
- Jack Doyle, power forward
- Zach VanElslander, center
Bench: Deuce Rodriguez(IR), Mikey Sullivan, Grant Livingston, Alex Detwiler, Alex Wilson, Jacob Yglesias, Max Warren
Key players: Kalen Kennedy, Dylan Demkowicz
Biggest Rival: Raptors
The Knicks lost key defender Liam Mcilroy to wrist surgery before the season started and this changed the identity of the team. They will now live and die by the three pointer led by sharpshooting center Meade Maxwell.
- James Counsman, point guard (Liggett)
- Dylan Demkowicz, shooting guard (UofD)
- CJ Elliott, small forward
- Will Green, power forward
- Meade Maxwell, center
Bench: Josh Carolan, Kalen Kennedy (UofD), Nick Crandall, Phillip Pierce (Ligget), Josh Gall
Key player: Rob Baldwin
Biggest Rival: Hawks
The defending champs have gone through the biggest overhaul of any team in the off-season. With a total makeover in the backcourt, the Kings will now run a small lineup at all times. Being one of the smallest teams in the league, they may be the best rebounding team in the league as well. The bench must produce for the Kings to have a chance to repeat.
- Steve Brengman, point guard
- James Pye, shooting guard
- Rob Baldwin, small forward
- Alex Peters, power forward
- Andy Hartz, center
Bench: Noah Stenhouse, Mike Messina (GPN), Steven Zak (GPN), Mike Stavale, Nate Jones
Key Players: Patrick Jackman, Anthony Simon
Biggest Rival: Wizards
A new team in the league, player/owner Wade Penman left the Wizards (formerly Hornets) to create what he hopes to be a powerhouse for the next two years. Adding three former South JV players to the mix, the Raptors are loaded with talent. However, a weak bench may prevent them from contending this year.
- Anthony Simon, point guard
- Robbie Bracci, shooting guard
- Jack Bracci, small forward
- Patrick Jackman, power forward
- Hugh Whitney, center
Bench: Wade Penman, Andrew Hyde, Andrew Wright, TJ Stevenson
Key players: Richie Kish, Clay Kreisler
Biggest Rival: Raptors
With a slimmed down roster, it looks like the Wizards may be in for a long season. They struggle to shoot from the outside with the exception of Clay Kreisler. Outside of Kreisler and Kish the team will struggle to find a third scorer. With a thin bench, the team must avoid fast break style play to stay in games. The fewer possessions, the better the chance the Wizards will have to walk away with a win.
- Jimmy Menchl, point guard
- Clay Kreisler, shooting guard
- Cole Semansion, small forward
- Richie Kish, power forward
- Jack Martin, center
Bench: Bennett Jackson, Connor Fox
Key players: Brad Sanford, Matt Geist
Biggest Rival: Hawks
The Nuggets return their full team from a year ago including the dynamic backcourt of Sanford and Geist. The biggest problem for the Nuggets will be their bench play. The team made up virtually all cross country athletes won’t have any problems running with teams, but shooting will be a major concern.
- Matt Geist, point guard
- Brad Sanford, shooting guard
- Alex Knuth, small forward
- Brad Kohut, power forward
- Christian Mackey, center
Bench: Michael Fennell, Bailey Labadie, Hans Breiden, Kyle Matheson, Zach Montgomery
Super Sonics (Juniors)
Biggest Rival: Knicks
Key Players: Victor Flynn, Robbie Triano
The second new team in the league, the Supersonics lack experience. With only one former south player, the team will try to rally behind the talent of center Victor Flynn. Despite a ton of depth, it’s not ridiculous to think that this team could go defeated (Yes, that’s right defeated).
- Jackson Yezback, point guard
- Bennett Aretakis, shooting guard
- Khaled Elbadawi, small forward
- Tighe Rzankowski, power forward
- Victor Flynn, center
Bench: Matt Manardo, Connor Murphy, Chaz Bilderbeck, Eric Posada, Jake Esmacher, Daniel Bukacel, Archer Hauck, Robbie Triano