By Brian Hernandez, Staff Writer
The first basketball game of the season is set for November 14 in the Eagle’s Nest at Verbum Dei High School against Bellflower High School, and it promises to be the beginning of a good season.
“This year the team should be better than last year; we only lost one player, Jamal Cotton, to graduation, so we have everyone returning back for their second year of basketball under a new coaching staff,” said Athletic Director and Basketball Coach Ken Stevenson. “It should be much better than last year.”
Expectations for this year’s team are to compete hard every game, to give it their best, and to be better conditioned than any other team they play, said Stevenson. Character traits expected from the team are discipline, respect, mindfulness of others, and the demonstration of a sense of brotherhood with their teammates, he added.
Being a student-athlete at Verbum Dei is hard, said Stevenson. “Academics and the Corporate Work Study Program,” Stevenson said, are two of the problems with which the coaches have to deal. Time has to be balanced in order for the students to be successful in both academics and athletics. The five CWSP work days each month can present logistical and athlete availability issues.
Upcoming events for later in the season are two tournaments: over the Thanksgiving break, Verbum Dei will participate in a tournament at El Monte High School, located at 3048 Tyler Avenue in El Monte; over the Christmas Break, the squad will participate in a tournament at Serra High School, located at 14830 Van Ness Avenue in Gardena.