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Editor Letter From The Editor

Ultimate Athlete Magazine

Dear Readers, First, I’d like to introduce myself as the new Long Island edition editor. You may have seen my past work in the magazine as I was working closely with both Jessica and Mike Browning of the College Edition to create top-quality content. Now, with my focus almost solely set on the Long Island high school landscape I hope to keep you all informed and entertained with the stories of the best athletes in the area. I’d like to take you deeper inside the huddle and locker room and bring these stories to life on the pages in the magazine. In this edition we look at some of the top basketball players on Long Island, including how the leadership and versatility of William Floyd star Anthony White has helped lift his team to the top of Suffolk County League I. We also traveled out to Harborfields to talk to Lucas Woodhouse, the Tornadoes wizard of a point guard who leads the Island in assists. Beyond that we have stories on an under appreciated sport wrestling. Take a look at the family ties that have helped brothers Malik and Corey Rasheed of Longwood ascend to Suffolk County championships. You can also read about the interesting dynamic of teammates - best friends, really - wrestling each other in the biggest match of their lives. I hope you all enjoy the first issue under my watch and will join us throughout the end of the winter and into the spring as Ultimate Athlete magazine proves to be the preeminent source for Long Island High School sports. Sincerely,


Paul Corace N.J. Comanzo Jose Luis Covarrubias Mike Browning Gene Morris




Nicholas Herms Josh Rosenman John CALLEJAS


Taylor Woods Richard Brooks



Gene Morris Adil Borluca Mike Mejia, cscs Dr. Tom Ferraro


Morgan Harrison Adil Borluca Josh Rosenman



Josh Rosenman

How T To Contact Us Phone: 1-800-680-3213


Fax: 631-261-7968 ultimate Ultimate Athlete Magazine (ISSN 1931-5295) is published 12 times a year by Ultimate Athlete, Inc., 40 Woodbine Avenue, Northport, New York 11768. All contents copyright 2009 by Ultimate Athlete, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or part of the content without the prior written consent of Ultimate Athlete, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All logos and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Although the writers and the publisher have exhaustively researched all sources to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information contained in this publication, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. The opinions expressed in all materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Ultimate Athlete, Inc or Long Island’s Ultimate Athlete Magazine.


ntsFeature Features

12 Bayport Wrestling

20 East Islip

Boys Basketball

26 Harborfield Boys Basketball

32 Elwood

Girls Basketball

38 Lindenhurst Girls Basketball

44 Longwood Wrestling

50 Port Jefferson Boys Basketball

56 Sachem

Girls Basketball

64 Uniondale Boys Basketball

70 William Floyd Boys Basketball





78 UA Training Not So Fast

84 Sports Psychology The Psychology of Basketball

86 Pro Corner Jeremy Lin


Photo by Morgan Harrison

Whitman’s Kieran Elmore puts up a shot against Half Hollow Hills East.




Photo by Morgan Harrison

he a ille efense oul not stop Har or el s who eat the Golden Flashes 91-42.




Ralph Fabiani : The hardest working wrestler in the room. Story by Jeffrey Bessen Photos by Morgan Harrison


n a square room inside the north entrance of Bayport-Blue Point High School is the Phantoms wrestling room, but don’t confuse this space with a place where there are chairs for relaxation and televisions to watch. No, this is where Bayport’s wrestlers come to work. And one of the hardest workers in the room is senior Ralph Fabiani, a three-year varsity wrestler. A three-sport athlete when most are specializing in only one, Fabiani has fashioned himself into a champion caliber wrestler by working with the best wrestlers on the team and digging deep within for all he has. “It was my dad (also Ralph) who said, ‘if you don’t want it go home and if you want it make sure you get it’,” Fabiani said about his approach to hard work. He is 6-1 in League VII matches, has an overall record of 26-7 and is ranked second among 145-pound Division II wrestlers in Suffolk County. He seeks to continue his dream season through the county championships. Last season, Fabiani was named the Phantoms’ hardest worker, an honor that is placed on the wrestling room’s wall alongside wrestlers who have won league, county and state titles. This is a program that appreciates hard work. “It is his attitude,” said junior Ryan Hake, a 125-pound county champion



in 201 1, explaining what makes his primary practice partner such a hard worker and successful wrestler. Hake pointed to the “Hardest W orker” sign with pride for his friend. “If someone beats him, he’ll work harder and he’ll beat him,” he said. Previously, Fabiani partnered with J eff Purdy, a two-time county champion for Bayport, who graduated. W orking with a “strong kid” like Fabiani has made a fan of Hake. “W e are a good combination - his strength and my ability,” he said. “W e match up good.” That work ethic began several years ago, when Fabiani joined Bayport’s Kid Wrestling program in fifth-grade due in part to Hake’s father. W restling through elementary, middle and high school, along with playing soccer and lacrosse, has helped make Fabiani into what varsity coach Rich Reilly called a “complete wrestler.” “Ralph’s technique from year to year has improved and he gets better on his feet,” said Reilly, who added that its part of Fabiani’s will to compete which allows him to tough it out against high caliber competition. “I got a feel for the match, then I kept hearing everybody (Bayport fans), I got the two and ended by beating him a little bit,” Fabiani said about an early season match in which he gutted out a victory after falling behind 2-0. “It takes a match like that to remember it’s only physical to point - then it’s emotional mentality.” For Fabiani and his teammates that emotional mentality began last summer when the squad spent five days at a camp at Bucknell U niversity in Pennsylvania. U nder a dual meet structure, the Phantoms battled wrestlers from throughout New E ngland, New J ersey, Virginia and North Carolina. “The caliber of competition was unprecedented,” Fabiani said.


“E veryone there was a county or state hampion it definitel helped dd in his dail three or four mile run during the offseason and there reall is not time when a iani s not wor ing to improve hat ommitment to wor ing hard is what propels his su ess on the so er pit h the wrestling mat and in goal for a team that won the state lass la rosse hampionship last season sa wrestling helped me as a la rosse pla er a iani said ver aspe t goes a to wrestling e redited the footwor he learned as a wrestler to ma ing him qui er when rea ting with a la rosse sti in hand ssistant oa h oe allagher wrestled and oa hed for ears at rentwood efore oming to a port two ears ago or allagher it is Fabiani’s dedication to become better and desire that ma es him a good wrestler and a role model for ounger teammates ne of his strengths is that he rings the same intensit to ever match whether he beat an opponent three times alread or the opponent is e tremel tough and highl ran ed allagher said allagher said it is a in to that advertising slogan regarding i hael ordan ears a e li e i e where his teammates see him wor ing hard and see his final results driving them to wor hard as well e is a ver oa ha le id said eill who appointed a iani one of the wrestling team s three aptains alph is an e ellent leader ver mature the ind of id ou love to as aptain


E ven in the practice room, Fabiani doesn t short hange himself his teammates or wrestlers from a ville and ellport pushing them to finish the last si minutes of a -minute s rimmage on a aturda morning ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

“He follows the rules, wants to better himself and doesn’t take shortcuts,” Hake said. After being part of a time that had six other county champions last year including teammate Brandon Thomas, who beat Fabiani in the 140- pound uffol final - a iani relishes an opportunity to succeed at the county championships. “I have been waiting all season for that.”






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BOYS BASKETBALL Story by Adrian Szkolar Photos by Morgan Harrison


ast year around this time, the East Islip Redmen looked like they would claim a share of the Suffolk County League III regular season title. All that stood between them and clinching a tie for first place was the final game of the regular season against Riverhead. After opening up with a 16-6 lead in the first quarter, it appeared that they were on their way to tie for first place. In the second quarter, however, disaster struck. Their star player, 6-foot-8 center Evan Maxwell, suffered a concussion, knocking him out of the game. Without their dominant big man, East Islip’s lead would eventually slip away in the third quarter, and they would lose the game 77-70. “I think it was more of a shock that everything happened on one evening,” said head coach Rob Schwender. “We ended up losing a tie for the league, we ended up losing our big guy all in the matter of a second.” 20 ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

This year would be different. Facing off against second-place Smithtown East on Feb. 7, the Redmen were again in a position to clinch the regular season. They would not let this opportunity slip away again. With Maxwell playing the whole game this time, East Islip would win 42-33. To no one’s surprise, Maxwell led the way for the Redmen. The center would score 13 points, and more importantly, hold Jon Feiler, the leading scorer in Suffolk County at 22.6

points per game, to a season-low 10 points. “I thought Evan covered him so well, he d-upped really well,” Schwender said of his star senior. “He just shows up and he plays.”

my first year of varsity, so I ust learned how things wor ed, it still helped a lot even though we didn’t make the playoffs.” As he eventually grew to his current height of 6-foot-8 and

While Schwender has developed a winning program at East Islip since becoming head coach 16 years ago, there were bumps along the road. In particular, the 2008-09 season saw the team finish second to last in the league and miss the playoffs. “I think that was a situation where we had chemistry problems,” said Schwender. “The players were frustrated, but they were young, they were learning what it took to be better.” However, that year would merely be a hiccup for the program. The following year, the team would go undefeated in the league, and has continued to be a top program in the league ever since. “I think Schwender has done a good job of getting us all together,” said senior team captain Brian Johnson, who has been on the team since 8th grade. “There’s a lot of off-season stuff with us, we just build chemistry, and we have a feel for each other on the court, so that’s what really special about it.” One of the big reasons for the turnaround was the growth of Maxwell. As a freshman, he was an un-coordinated, still growing 6-foot-4 kid. “It was a big learning year for me,” Maxwell said. “It was

adjusted to his large frame, he began to have more individual success. “He spent a lot of time in the gym,” said Schwender. “He WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM


has great fundamentals, he’s like a lunch-pail type of guy, one of the greatest guys I’ve been able to coach.” After averaging 11.2 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore, he would emerge as one of the county’s dominant players as a junior, averaging 20.1 points per game and 15.4 rebounds per game. “Being a guard, it’s easy,” said Johnson, who has known Maxwell since 4th grade. “Once you just feed the post, he draws so much attention that you can either cut, get a free layup, or stand on the perimeter and get a free jumper.” While the team will graduate seven of their 13 players, including Johnson and Maxwell, who is committed to


NCAA Division II Dowling College, Schwender still believes he can continue the school’s winning ways next season. I have enefited greatly from seniors, uniors who have taught younger players how to go about things and treat the game,” Schwender said. “We’ve established here a tradition of trapping in the half court and playing hard man to man. I have utmost confidence that we re not going to have that much of a let-down.”



HARBORFIELDS Lucas Woodhouse and Harborfields Blowing Away The Competition Story By Gene Morris. Photos By Morgan Harrison

Watch any basketball highlight show and you are bound to see an abundance of ferocious dunks, killer cross overs and awe inspiring acts of athleticism. In reality. it is the plays before the powerful slams and gravity defying aeriel assaults that are the key. Getting to the right spot on the floor – and getting the ball when you get there – is the first step to any highlight. A team can have an abundance of strong, fast athletes that can jump out of the gym, but without the setup man – the point guard – things would not look nearly as easy. It’s the responsibility of the point guard to get everyone else the ball first and to score second. A great point guard knows where all his teammates are and exactly where they need to go to succeed. There is no better point guard on Long Island than Harborfields Lucas Woodhouse.

asked what makes his offense so proficient. “He’s the point guard, he’s the floor general. When you have Lucas playing well, we play well. When Lucas isn’t playing well we are not going to play well. That’s the facts.” Woodhouse, a 6-foot-1 senior that has been playing on the varsity team since the eighth grade is one of those special players who only come around to a program every so often. “In 15 years of coaching varsity basketball as an assistant and a head coach I’ve never seen a player like Lucas Woodhouse,” Agostino said. “His knowledge of the game, his effort, his vision - and there’s a lot of guys who will agree with that - never have done the things he’s done.”

“Lucas Woodhouse, he’s the key to it,” Harborfields head coach Chris Agostino said when


The skills that Woodhouse possess were evident at an early age. Y es, his height and athleticism have improved with time and he has the qui ckness to beat nearly any defender off the dribble – but it’s his innate sense of the court and vision to see developing plays that set him apart from others.

Harborfields grabbed the umber one seed in the Suffolk C ounty C lass A playoffs, putting them on a collision course with Amityville. Besides also being the team with the most tradition in C lass A, there’s a personal connection for Agostino and Harborfields Amityville’s head coach is J ack Agostino, C hris’ brother.

Agostino recalled the first few times he saw Woodhouse play in middle school. “Seventh grade, I knew it,” he said. “When i was watching his middle school team and he was averaging 39 points in two or three qua rters of play. I knew he was very special and I knew we would have to get him. If i didn’t get him we would have a tough time.”

That match up will only come to fruition if the Tornadoes continue to play the way they did throughout the season. “I think we definitely have a bulls eye on our back,” senior K evin Z abransky said. “Since we came back strong this year and some of the teams in our league came back strong the rivalries continued.”

Harborfields did get him and has had great success in recent memory. Last season’s team went all the way to the C lass A State C hampionship game before falling to J amesville-D ewitt. That left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth and made this squa d hungry to get back and finish the ob. “Y ou can’t forget what happened last year,” Agostino said. “We want to be back there, there’s no que stion about that. That’s something that’s on our mind every single day every day we come to practice and every day we work hard. It’s very important that we have that on our mind.” That motivation – a long with having a top notch point guard – has helped Harborfields defeat every team in League V twice, including wins by points or more in the last five games.


o team was able to knock off Harborfields this year thanks in part to the play of Woodhouse. Whether is was the 26 poi nt, 20 a ssist effort he put up against Sayville or the 25 poi nt and 16 assist effort against K ings Park, Woodhouse has unque stionably rose to the leadership position on this team. “He can get everyone the ball, especially our wings, and we’re a really good shooting teamand he’s really good a the drive and kick,” Z abransky said. “He ust finds us open shots - we don’t have to do a lot, ust listen to him and do what he says and we’ll get it done.” F or Woodhouse’s teammates it was the early season non league games against ewark Tech, Archbishop Stepinac and Mount St. Michaels that really set the tone for what was to come.“Against Mount St. Michaels we went into the Bronx and Lucas kept us in the whole game and it was a tough atmosphere,” Z abranksy said

“ ut Lucas kept coming down the floor in the second half and mak ing great plays. An early non league win against Half Hollow Hills West proved to the rest of Long Island that Harborfields was for real no matter how much a perceived lack of competition in league play may affect them.“I kind of wish we had some non leagues later in the sea son to test ourselves coming into the playoffs but that’s ust how the schedule worked out, Woodhouse said. “ ut those early season tests were good for us. Woodhouse has committed to play for Longwood niversity when he begins his college career ne t year. hat’s something that has allowed him to focus solely on getting back to the state finals and finishing up some unfinished business.“It’s definitely the goal to get back and win it, Woodhouse said. “We don’t want to ust settle with the uffolk or Long Island championship, we want to go and win the state championship.


Shining Knight Glenn’s Allison McKenna looking to lead Lady Knights back to Long Island Championship


Story by Arielle Dollinger Photos by Morgan Harrison Standing at 6-foot-2, forward Allison McK enna is the tallest girl on the J ohn Glenn girls basketball team. The Geneseo-bound senior, who recently became only the fifth player in lenn history to surpass career points, has been leading the team to victory for four years. And that includes a record in . “We have an e ceptional team this year, head coach Andy Athanas said. “We have an e cep tional player in Allison c enna. lenn was an e ceptional team in as well, finishing the season and winning the uffolk County Class A and small school championships. According to her a reps profile, c enna averages . points per game. ne of the top inside players on Long Island, c enna is a dominant rebounder capable of taking over a game. ut her personal success is not what she talked about in an interview she spoke of the success of the team she is a part of.“We ust all look to push each other as much as we can, c enna said. Athanas has spent the better part

of his 36- year coaching career working with J ohn Glenn -- this is his 25t h year with the team. “We’re a pretty well rounded group, Athanas said. he team is young of the girls, only three are seniors. c enna’s co captain, mma lis, is a unior. “We make each other better, lis said of herself and her teammates. Her favorite part of being on the team, she said, is working with the other girls.“We fool around sometimes, but we know that everything’s business and we want to win games, lis said. Both McK enna and K lis mentioned the closeness of the ten girls on the team. Aside from the time they spend together at two hour practices uesday through riday and at games, the play ers have pasta parties and go to other basketball games together. “The camaraderie among them is really very good, Athanas said. And so, he said, is their dedication. At the beginning of the season, he would take attendance every day. “I don’t even bother anymore, he said. He knows that the girls will be there.

The group of athletes really does work as a team, said McK enna. “N o one on our team is selfish, she said.

“Her attitude and her composure remains the same, Colligan said, no matter whether the team is winning or losing.

Assistant C oach Shannon C olligan, 24, is also unselfish she is a volunteer. he ohn lenn graduate, who played on the bas ketball team during her high school years, went on to earn a degree in childhood and special education at Mount St. Mary C ollege, and decided to help coach the team on her breaks from college.

But McK enna is set to graduate this year, and will no longer be playing basketball on the familiar court. The team is worried about its future, but confident that it will overcome c enna’s departure.

his year is her second at the school full time she now works as a special education teaching assistant, while still serving as assis tant coach to the team. C olligan is fueled by both her experience as a player and her love for the game itself. “I love coaching, I love the game, it’s ust a great e perience, she said. And, she has known c enna since the senior’s freshman year. “ he has grown so much, Colligan said. According to Colligan, during a game, c enna’s attitude does not change with the chang ing score.


K lis admitted that next season will be tough, but said that the team will pull through it. “We ust have to keep working hard and we’ll go very far, lis said.




Lady Bulldogs undefeated league ll champs!


Story by Jeffrey Bessen Photos by Morgan Harrison

hen Lindenhurst girls basketball coach G reg Flynn addresses his team about its shortcomings he begins with something like this: “Y ou think you are good, but the reality is …,” and the sixth-year coach then fills in the lan for his pla ers he riminal usti e and philosoph tea her holds nothing a when dispensing sometimes needed doses of perspe tive to his talented team Whether it s point out wea nesses that e ome apparent in games or ma ing sure the understand that the must sa rifi e individual glor to attain the ultimate team goals, Flynn makes sure his team knows there is always room for improvement owever from an outsider s view there hasn t een mu h to omplain a out this season as the ulldogs have ompiled a - overall re ord and a eague mar of - as of an he team has performed well enough to e in onsideration for

one of the top seeds in the uffol



pla offs

ig motivating fa tor this season is ma ing up for a lost opportunit in when indenhurst was seeded seventh and lost a first round game to auppauge hough that team finished - the upset loss doesn t sit well with returning senior enter forward aomi a hilome he one thing we have to do is we annot let our personalities get in the wa of the team s su ess said the nearl -footer who averages points re ounds and five lo ed shots a game t is not a out one person it is a out the team e ounding is a out good positioning and o ing out for aomi while lo ing shots enters on timing and who she is guarding gainst onnetquot lo ed a shot too it ross ourt for a la up was fouled and made the free throws she 39 said proudl WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM

Besides Naomi the team includes Naomi’s younger sister, Valerie, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, who missed time in the middle of the season because of injury but should be ready to go down the stretch. Valerie is averaging about 18 points per game and grabs nine boards a contest. Senior guard Colleen Ames - who earned All-County honors last season- is averaging 14 points per game and is shooting 40 pe rcent from three-point range. “Naomi is pound-for-pound our best athlete and most improved payer on our team,” Flynn said. “Valerie is (one of) our top player offensively - if not our best; she can do it all umpers threes and finish left or right he is a id with potential and drawing interest. olleen is our leader she is lut h ta es and ma es the big shots,” Flynn said. “She improved her game and is a better ball handler this year.” he t pi al starting five is rounded out senior forward Shannon Crehan - another All-County player, who averages 40 nine points and six rebounds per game while also hitting 40 ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

percent of her three-pointers - and either point guard Sammy artine or i ole ntrieri he team also wel omed a two- ear starter tephanie ngenito a former ll- ount performer who had been out due to a torn ACL. “Shannon is our most intelligent player, can hit from anywhere and helps run the offense,” Flynn said. “Sammy and Nicole share point guard and between them have a two to one assist to turnover ratio. They are good passers and get the ball to our main scorers.” Flynn credits his squad’s success to the girls playing AAU travel all as part of the ong sland ightening ll the girls played, the seniors with seniors, juniors with juniors, they played the best teams in the country,” Flynn said. “That has really helped bring their game to the next level. O ver the last five ears the have e ome reall good pla ers in that time.” Valerie agreed with her coach that competing against and watching top tier competition has helped Lindenhurst hone

their s ills and e ome a etter team t is definitel a ig part of wh we are so su essful she said We pla ed high ali er teams and had to adapt and pla ed at a faster pa e We would wat h teams pla in s n and sa wow that s how it s done hen we a sor ed it and refined it during pra ti e aomi and alerie egan pla ing as et all in eighth- and seventh-grade respe tivel and share a love for the game and have similar reasons for pla ing am ver ompetitive and it s not a out what ou do ut who wants it more who is more aggressive more tena ious Naomi said.

art of the reason we lost in the first round is we ouldn t rea the pressure she said We have to wor on our defense la ing defense is also on the mind of aomi who added that aggressive re ounding will lead to se ond- han e shots f we pla the wa we are apa le of we are apa le of eating an one she said nd the realit is

that is true

am ver ommitted to wor ing hard getting etter and reall love it as it relieves stress in m life from s hool alerie said mentioning her dvan ed la ement ourses dvan ed pla ement is what indenhurst see s in the pla offs as the loo to avenge last season s first round loss or that to happen alerie said the team has to u into l nn s philosoph that defense wins games offense sells ti ets




ood Wrestling B rothers C orey and Malik R asheed

The Rasheed Brothers Story &

Photos B y G ene Morris

As brothers Corey and alik asheed grapple at the beginning of a late season practice, unior N ick Hall does the same across the gym, underneath the sign hanging on the wall celebrating his fathers state championship nearly twenty years earlier. The three are among a group of talented and strong wrestlers that represent the new guard in Longwood lore - kids that took up the sport in elementary school, honed their skills

for years and are reaping the sucess of having such distinguished blood lines “O ur tradition comes back from a lot of these kids parents - I coached in 1985 and I coached for years and we were ranked first in N ew Y ork state for four years in a row and as high as fifth in the country, head coach ike Picoz z i said. “Then I took some time off and I came back to do it again.



He’ s come back to many familiar names - the elder Hall was ico i’s first state champion and the asheed’s father and multiple uncles from both sides of the family have passed through the program.“It’s been a wrestling family, i co i said of the asheed’s. “ heir grandmother loved the sport of wrestling and got all the kids involved in it. It’s a very close family they all come to the matches and they all support them. ow, the younger generation with a little more seasoning and e perience are looking to make a name for themselves. “ he two a sheed’s now are a little bit more dynamic in their wrestling style, ico i said. “ hey’ve been wrestling a lot longer than their dad or uncles were. heir uncles started in unior high while these boys started in fourth grade. Although the R asheed’s have wrestled on the same team since fourth grade this is the first year they have been primary training partners because of the weight differential and the fact that both were apt to compete ust a bit too hard. “Whenever we wrestle we always end up fighting and it turns into a real match, Corey said. ow, with so much on the line, the brothers reali e the value of pushing each other and lean ing on their family for support.“ hey put us in the sport when we were like four years old, alik said. “ y uncle reg, after practice would come to our house and make us run sprints and take us to weight training. y uncle avid helped us with training too. espite so much time together the asheed’s wrestle with a remarkably different style. “ hey’re viscous out there, especially Corey, Hall said. “He wrestles with ruthless aggression and he goes out there every time and he doesn’t care who it is, he has no fear. alik, in contrast, uses his speed and uickness to keep his oppo nent off balance.“ hey’re totally different wres tlers, ico i said. “ alik is a little bit more de fensive and Corey is go the whole match.

alik is more cautious out there, not willing to give up points to get points, he said. he team has no shortage of individual suc cess this year but saw its match league win ning streak ended with a late season loss to a chem orth. asting defeat for the first time is something that has lit a fire under a team that was already supremely motivated.“ hey’ve been working hard since that loss , ico i said. “ ou can’t win forever. We have a lot of good wrestlers on the team but we also have a couple of weight classes that are filling in with kids that don’t have e perience but have stepped up to fight hard for us and they gave it their best shot and we ended up losing. he Lions e perienced wrestlers showed up in force at the League I tournament. oth asheed’s, Hall, senior ylan eybolt and pounder obert ames all captured champi onships at their weight class. enior ddie en nings dropped a tough match in the pound final. After a fifth place county finish in , i co i is looking for a better result from his se nior. “ ylan has come a along way and he’s grown into the weight class, ico i said. “He’s another kid that has put in a lot of time since he was young. Although eybolt wasn’t fully aware of what he was getting himself into in elementary school “When I got the paper home for wrestling I thought it was WW and stuff but I tried it and it was nothing like that, but something about wres tling ust stuck, he said his hard work over the years has paid off.“It puts a ump on their wrestling, ico i said of getting kids into the program at an early age. “It all depends if the kid has the “stick toitivness to continue through out their career. ome kids burn out and others don’t. hey haven’t and they’re still growing in their wrestling.


We’ve been wrestling together since fifth grade. ou grow up together and now we’re brothers. Having a support structure full of family members and coaches who have been through the grind of high school wrestling is something that gives Longwood an edge.“We trained together outside of here and it definitely helps, Hall said. “We’re al ways around each other, we’re really like brothers. their wrestling.”



“ROYAL” RUMBLE Port Jefferson Teammates Battle it out in County Championship

Story By: Gene Morris. Photos By: Morgan Harrison.


friends Paul C avanagh and R yan Woodward spent all year pitted against each other in the wrestling room at Port J efferson High School. The pair had played football together, hung out after school and loved being around each other. And on the second day of the Suffolk C ounty Wrestling championships both looked across the mat to see the other in the finals. “F rom the start of it we would always joke around that ‘ oh we’re going to see each other in the finals’ and it actually came true, Woodward said. “It was kind of craz y just to work in the room with him sometimes, it was pretty even most of the time. J ust to wrestle is kind of craz y. I never thought I’d do it. Before the season it would have seemed even more unlikely. Woodward was a returning sophomore who wrestled but did not place in C ounties in 20 11 and C avanagh was beginning just his second year of wrestling and struggling to cut down to 138 pounds.J ust a few short months later C avanagh was a Suffolk C ounty champion, one of three Port J efferson wrestlers crowned with that honor.“It’s ama ing, Cavanagh said after the match. “I’m a sophomore and to become a champion - to go up to N ew Y ork State in a few weeks, it’s just... I didn’t even wrestle in counties last year. It’s amaz ing because I just started wrestling in ninth grade, last year, and with little time to wrestle I’ve just accomplished

so much. Cavanagh was not the only ort effer son wrestler with limited experience who ripped through the C ounties for a championship. D ylan R oberts captured the C ounty title at 138 pounds . “It’s not often that you see that, Ian c wen, the Port J efferson wrestling assistant coach said. “Sometimes you have guys who come in who are just naturals. He works hard and does offseason work. D ylan R oberts has wrestled for a few years and is a county champ. The guys push each other and feed off each other. At 152 pounds it ended up coming down to two wrestlers who pushed each other all year in and out of the wrestling room.“ yan is my best friend, Ca vanagh said. “We used to play football together, we hang out all the time. I wish we could both go up to tates. I ust love him like a brother. he ort efferson s uad came into the finals knowing that at least one of the county champions crowned that night would be wearing purple. But they also knew that at least one team member would walk away slightly disappointed. “It’s tough, c wen said about watching two of his own wrestlers go at it. “Y ou wish they could both take it because they both work just as hard and they both earned it. This tournament was no easy walk to get through to where they were. They really had a lot of good battles and to be there in the end, it’s kind of a bittersweet thing to see. The two friends - who’s differing styles on the


mat matched their personalities outside of wrestling - battled in a hard fought match that C avanagh pulled out 5-4. C avanagh’s exuberance after the match showed when he spoke about how happy he was but he qui ckly turned solemn when talking about ending his best friends season. “We’ve really been working hard in the room,” McE wen said. “We’re a very emotionally charged team and we have a lot of good talent and a lot of guys that work hard. Those two guys who just


wrestled - they go at it. We have a nice young group of guys coming up and we’re going to be a young team for the next couple of years so we have a lot of expectations and high hopes.”


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DOHERTY DYNASTY Meagan, Katie, and Jamie Keeping the Sachem Tradition Alive

Story By Gene Morris Photos By Morgan Harrison girls basketball has a tradition that spans back many years. When the district split the high schools eight years ago head coach Matt Brisson had a choice to make. He simply followed the D oherty’s - and it paid off in a state title in 2010. risten oherty finished her career in 201 0 as one of the top scorers in Suffolk C ounty history. She was soon joined by her sister Meagan and cousins K atie and J amie, who this year lead a squa d that is undefeated in league play and the likely number one overall seed in the Suffolk C ounty playoffs. “When K risten came up momma raised no fool - I knew that she lived on this side of the district and that was a big part of why I decided to come here,” Brisson said. “As an eighth grader she was an impact kid right away. She really raised the level of competition everywhere.” Meagan and K atie followed right in her footsteps, playing on the varsity team in eighth grade.

J amie joined the team as a freshman.N ow in her senior year, Meagan has only one goal in mind - leading Sachem back to a state championship. “Since I’ve been on varsity winning leagues is expected of us,” she said. “O ur legacy - Brisson is always telling us that it’s not a gift to wear this uniform, it’s a privilege and we have to work hard every single day to wear this name across your chest... it’s a legacy.” The girls fathers - Billy, J immy and Tommy - all played basketball at Sachem and instilled the work ethic and love for the game in their daughters at an early age. “We grew up with basketball all around us,” Meagan said. “It’s in our blood, we love it. ( O ur dads) take us to all our workouts whether we want to go or not. They push us everyday and when we’re down and we’re sore or hurting here and there they keep pushing us and they gave us the hard work and dedication that we have now.

They showed us how to keep pushing ourselves and how to really be a competitor.”


After experiencing the joy of winning a state championship along with K risten in 2010 Sachem E ast brought a younger team into 201 1 and was upset in the County finals by eer ark. hat’s something no one on the team ever wants to feel again. “It was harder to lose after knowing what it felt like to win, eagan said. “It showed me that I don’t want to be there again and the girls be hind me don’t want to either because a lot of them didn’t reali e what its like to get that far and have everything end so fast. Sachem E ast has used that motivation to rip off 18 straight wins after dropping the season opener to Bishop F ord and has left every league opponent in the dust.Add in the consistent con tributions of athleen verson, amantha and Allie rake and mily Carmel and the laming Arrows have a loaded roster capable of mak ing its way upstate. ut it always comes back to the oherty’s. eagan, the team captain, is a deadly outside shooter who contributes in many different ways “ eagan is impervious to pres sure, risson said. “ he’s a kid who has dealt with pain the last three years of her career. he’s coming off in uries she’s been banged up for three years. It’s the first time in a long time that she’s able to play free and easy without any kind of pain in her knees. I give her so much credit for her concentration skills when she gets on the floor she’s able to maintain her fo cus as well or better than anyone. risten, now a sophomore at oston College, still casts a shadow over the program but the younger oherty’s are doing well to step out from under it. “It’s kind of like a oke between us


that we’re all in her shadow and we’re all kind of fighting amongst each other to work our way out and make a name for ourselves, eagan said. “ eah, I’m risten oherty’s little sister and I live by that and I’m not embarrassed by that and I love it but sometimes I just want to step out and ust be eagan oherty and live up to that last name that she made such a big deal. achem ast and the oherty cousins have been consistently proving their toughness down the stretch this year. eagan and atie combined for 30 points as the F laming Arrows overcame a seven point fourth uarter deficit to beat power house Long Island Lutheran and both oherty cousins scored career highs eagan had ,

K atie 21) in a hostile road league win against C ommack With each big win and outstanding performance the D oherty’s continue to remind everyone that while K risten’s legacy was great, they are here to make their own. “K risten is K risten,” Brisson said. “Meagan spent the first part of her career being somebod ies sister. I think this year the greatest thing in the world was that now she doesn’t have that shadow and she gets to leave her own mark in her senior year. She’s shown what she can do independently and I’m so proud of her being able to hold that leadership role.”

Sachem E ast apart from the other teams on Long Island. “The collective basketball IQ of the team is what sets us apart, risson said. “ athleen ver son her I as a sophomore rivals most seniors. Her dad played at illanova and has a champion ship ring she has a bug as well. he rake wins and mily Carmel they’re all basketball unk ies. “ hey’ve all drank the ool Aid I’m hoping that’s something down the road that brings us a few more successful seasons.”

The success of the team is deeper than just the oherty’s it’s the little things that truly help set



Photo by Morgan Harrison

East slip’s E an a well soars o er the efense for a la up.




Photo by Morgan Harrison

ohn lenn’s a en ie i illi ri les aroun the amit ille efense





ith U niondale boy’s roster loaded with basketball talent, you would think there would be a few selfish pla ers on the squad v ing for the hardwood spotlight ma ing it e tremel diffi ult to pla sound team all nstead head oa h om iana said it s the Knights team-first attitude sans the ego entri pla that has been one of their best assets this ear helping them post a perfe t - regular season re ord thin it s ids wanting to pla with ea h other and it s a out eing the est team we an e not the est individuals iana emphasi ed thin the goal winning is the same for ever one he have a great attitude and the li e ea h other he push when the should and





the re unselfish O ne of the reasons for U niondale’s strong ohesive unit is iana s effe tive utili ation of a ten-man rotation giving ample oor time to a multitude of pla ers t s ena led the Knights to sta fresh and rel on its depth to wear down the opposition in man of their tilts this ampaign nother reason for the team s su ess is its pla ers willingness 65


to work hard and buy into U niondale’s coaching system, something that has been cultivated even before some of the studentathletes entered the high school. “It’s been tremendous,” Diana—w ho has captured seven County and three Long Island AA Championships (2004, ’06 and ’09) during his tenure—s aid of his players’ stellar work ethic. “They know what they are, and what it takes to win. They have been brought up that way, even from middle school on.” W hile Diana has enjoyed a fruitful run, he made it a point to give credit to his coaching staff – J oe Pena (six years), Rich Tauber (eight years) and Richard Brown (16 years) – for helping to establish and continue the K nights’ grand tradition of winning. “I have a great staff,” the 16year coach said. “I couldn’t do it without them.” Aside from winning on the high school level, U niondale keeps producing solid hoopsters for the college ranks. Dynamic 5-foot-7 point guard Shaquille (Shaq) M osley, who has had an incredible year with an average of 27.4 points and 6.2 assists per game, is garnering recruiting looks from a bevy of schools such as Iona, Stony Brook, Townsend, loomfield W ost and delphi Following M osley is forward K enny W oodward, who has been fier e on the oards gra ing


9.1 rebounds per affair. He also has chipped in with 10.7 points a contest. Adelphi, M olloy, CW Post and Dowling have W oodward on their radar. Additionally, forward Terance Brown is being coveted by SU NY Farmingdale, SU NY Brockport, St. J oseph’s and St. Thomas Aquinas, and center Solomon G rahamW right is being eyed by St. Thomas Aquinas, M olly, SU NY Brockport and Staten Island College. Though Diana wants his athletes to leave their own undeniable mark of excellence on U niondale basketball, he does understand the bigger picture. “W e want our kids to achieve success here at the school, but we want them to use high school as a stepping stone to a better life,” Diana explained. “W e want our kids to be successful academically and athletically.” As far as playoff expectations go, Diana will not look past the team before him. “I am really keeping it short term—c orner to corner, game to game,” he said. “Y ou have to focus on the game in front of you, and if you’re fortunate enough you get to keep going.”


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or! o fl e h t overrsison c e t i h yW n Har Anthon s by Morga

Floybdy’sGene Morris Photo Story


W illiam Floyd’s Anthony W hite has been playing varsity basketball for four years. In each of W hite’s first three seasons the team saw its record improve, culminating in a - mar in White was an all- ount power forward averaging 18. 9 points per game, leading the ount with re ounds per game and chipping in 5.2 assists and 4.3 bl ocks per game. W hite quickly gained the reputation of a pla er who ould do ever thing - whether it e guard the other teams best perimeter player, bring the ball up the court against pressure or score in the post. lo d ame into with heightened e pe tations ut without man of the pla ers who had led them to the Suffolk County Final Four in 20 11. A talented - yet ine perien ed un h - an ed W hite at the beginning of the season With a few larger front ourt players added to the mix, W hite’s interior s ills were no longer needed quite as urgentl o White now a 6-foot-3 senior, has spent 2012 proving himself to now e one of the best guards in the county. “It’s unusual to have that happen,” Floyd head coach Bob Hodsgon said about W hite’s transformation. “It’s a real credit to him for his wor on his all handling s ills and his speed and his overall dedication to learning all about the game and not being a one dimensional player.”

“In each of W hite’s first three seasons the team saw its re ord improve.” -Gene Morris

As the pieces around W hite began to mold into a cohesive unit - guards Derek Haase, Devin Burney and M alik Dennis and big man LaShon W ashington have formed an athleti unit with their differing styles - Floyd has once against shot 71 WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM

up the rankings in Suffolk County. O ne of the top teams in the AA lassifi ation and the top team in eague White and the olonials are geared for another deep pla off run with the senior leading the wa “Anthony is our main guy,� Haase said his ear he s moved to more of a point guard position where last ear he was under the as et e s loo ing for his s oring first uthe s alwa s finding people White still shows ashes of his inside presen e averaging reounds per game e gra ed one of the iggest re ounds of the ear in 72 ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

the team s game against rival ongwood earl in the league season is tip in with ust se onds remaining in the game ompleted his teams ome a from a -point half time defi it e s ored of his total points in the se ond half virtuall willing his team to a vi tor t ongwood was pro a l one of the ra iest games ve ever een a part of aase said oming a from that defi it - the games are always intense.� he lo d- ongwood rivalr is one that permeates ever it of the mile stret h of William lo d ar -

way that separates the two schools. he loseness of the distri ts has alwa s provided a good rivalr and it s alwa s een a health rivalr odgson said he ve had some seasons in recent history where the ve had some of the est teams the ve ever had in the histor of their s hool his parti ular senior lass relishes an time the an defeat ongwood e ause the ve had su h diffi ult with them oming up through the seventh grade and eighth grade anquishing ongwood twi e in one season is a ig a omplishment

for the Colonials. The two victories have put Floyd in the drivers seat for the league title. “E ach year my team has gotten better so we give them more competition and beat them more,” W hite said of the rivalry with Longwood. “This year we beat them twice and last year we lost twice in close games so it feels good to beat them.” W hite, humble about his on the court accomplishments, also knows how important it is to provide leadership to a team that hasn’t been through the postseason grind. “I just try to be a leader and work hard everyday in practice and push my teammates,” W hite said. “I know if I don’t push them then they’re not going to push themselves sometimes.” College scouts took notice of W hite’s ability and maturity. He committed to St. Francis (NY ) this winter, putting the added pressure of worrying about his next step to rest. W hite is the sixth Floyd player to commit to a DI school under Hodgson’s watch. As he explained it, the program gets a player with enough skill and a strong enough work ethic to move on to the next level on e ever four to five ears

“E ach year my team has gotten better.”-A nt hony W hi t e

“In Anthony’s case it wasn’t just raw physical talent,” Hodgson said. “His body has improved every year as an athlete and his basketball skills have improved also. I would say that it’s more of his work than just being naturally gifted. The thing he does very well is he understands the game and as a result he can see things happen before they actually do happen.” 73 WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM

The need for Floyd to have W hite play on the perimeter is something that also improved his stock as a college player. At 6-foot-3 W hite is too small to play on the interior in DI. Improving and showing off his outside game has made him a much more enticing prospect. “Anthony is a physical guard that gives us versatility on the perimeter,” St. Francis head coach 74 ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

G lenn Braica said in a statement on the Terrier’s website. “He’s got a great feel for the game, possesses the ability to create his own shot, and is an exceptional ball-handler and passer.” W ith W hite leading the way and the group around him maturing, Floyd has dreams of bigger success this spring. “I think there’s no limit to how

far we can go this year,” Hodgson said. “I think the limit will be placed on us any given night if we’re not ready to play then we can get knocked off like anybody else. feel onfident that an od that s on our schedule or in the playoffs is a team that we can compete with right to the end and if the chips fall our way we can survive.”


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Not so Fast

The long-term approach to speed development: Part II. Story By: Mike Mejia CSCS In the first installment of this series, I wrote about the importance of improving things such as systemic strength and movement efficiency before umping right in to more advanced forms of speed training. Here in part two, I’ll show you how to build on the strength improvements that you made during your first phase of training, as well as how you can start getting your nervous system primed for high speed movement. his way, once you get around to part III yes, this was originally slated to be a two part series, but there’s ust too much good stuff to cover , you’ll be ready to build some real e plosive strength and power. At the end of the program, you’ll not only be a noticeably faster, but more e plosive and far more resistant to in ury. If you want to be fast, you have to train fast. ot nec essarily in the weight room at least initially , but you do have to work on improving your neuromuscular coordination or the communication between your brain and muscles. All the strength and fle ibility training in the world isn’t going to result in more speed if you’re not also teaching your nervous system to recruit your muscles more rapidly. ne of the most effective ways to do this is by working with a speed ladder. his simple tool can not only work wonders in terms of improving your foot speed and agility, but the uick movements and changes of direction it re

uires can also help improve the strength of the muscles around the ankles, knees and hips. imply lay it on the ground and get ready to challenge yourself with any number of multi directional drills designed to enhance coordination, balance and efficiency of movement. Another great drill for helping increase speed is called the wall acceleration. An e cellent complement to the ladder, this one is great for improving acceleration by focusing on proper hip e tension and knee drive. It also helps by recreating the forward lean necessary for optimal sprinting mechanics. irst done as a basic march holding at the top of each movement to help transfer any strength improvements you’ve made to more a functional position , once you get the hang of it, you can uickly fire through the drill for specified counts. I usu ally find that the three count works best start with one leg in the up position and then pump the legs for three strides and pause , as it reduces the chance for too much fatigue to develop, and allows athletes to focus on really “punching the back leg down into the ground and get ting a nice high knee drive with the opposite leg.

Get Fired Up

o do it tand facing a wall with your feet about to feet from its base how far you actually stand will depend on your height and the length of your arms . e t, lean forward and place your hands on the wall at about shoulder’s height. In this position, your body should be at appro imately a degree angle, with your heels up off the ground. nce in position, keep your torso erect and core lightly braced as you bring one leg up until your thigh is parallel to the ground, with your shin held underneath your hamstring and your toes cocked up. tart out marching in this position, being sure to hold for a split section each time, then progress to the three count version of the drill. ry repeti tions of the three count each , , cycle is one rep , then rest for a minute or so and repeat for sets.

Strength T raining: T hink O u tsid e the B ox

rom a strengthening standpoint, the ob ective is to build on the improvements in stability and range of motion made in the first phase, while also adding some loading into the mi . Here, e ercises like s uats, lunges and deadlift variations work well for the lower body, while a continued focus on core stability and strengthening the muscles that surround the shoulder girdle should take priority from an upper body standpoint. f course, as those of you who’ve followed my articles here in the past have come to e pect, the drills I’m about to feature will be slightly different from the typical weight room approach. irst up, we’ve got the barbell back s uat. What’s so different about these Well, in order to discourage athletes from using too much weight and taking the focus off of the powerful glutes and hamstrings shifting it instead into the knees and lower back , I’ve got one small alteration in mind. Actually, you could call it a mini alteration as in the use of a mini band during the lift. y placing one of these little devils around your knees before getting ready to s uat, you can accomplish two important ob ectives


2. R

1. I nc rease glu te ac tivat ion to help im p rove k nee stability ed u c e the am ou nt of w eight, b u t ac tu ally d o m ore m u sc u lar w ork .


Mini B and B arbell B ac k Sq u at: B egin by p lac ing a m ini band arou nd you r k nees. N ext , s tep u nd erneath the bar and c aref u lly lif t the w eight u p of f the su p p orts. O nc e in p osition, use your glutes to “fire out” against the band as you sit bac k into a p arallel sq u at. P au se at bottom f or j u st a sec ond and then p u sh bac k u p to the starting p osition. T ry 2- 3 s ets of 8- 10 r ep etitions.

I nstead of stressing your oints with more weight than you should be using, the increased recruitment of the posterior chain ( the glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors working together as a unit) makes the exercise infinitely more difficult and effective. peaking of the posterior chain, another great way to target the area is by combining two of the best strengthening drills for it into one brutal exercise. With the reverse lunge/ unilateral R omanian deadlift combo, you’ll work on balance, strength and coordination all at once. N ot to mention the fact that you’ll once again be reducing strain and increasing stability of the knees.

R eve rse L u nge/ U nilateral R om anian Dead lif t: Stand holding a couple of dumbbells ( or medicine ball as pictured) . Begin by striding back a couple of feet into a reverse lunge. In the bottom position, your torso should be held upright, with your front leg at a 90 de gree angle about parallel to the ground and your back heel off the ground. F rom there, drive off your front heel back into the starting position and then hinge at the hips as you lean forward and lift the same leg straight behind you. In the finish position your torso should be ust about parallel to the ground with your support leg slightly bent and your back leg held out behind you. Go back to the starting position and continue this seque nce until you’ve done 6-8 r epetitions of each movement, then switch legs. Try 2- 3 s ets.

Sawing Band R ow: F or this one, you’ll need a rubber resistance band with something sturdy to anchor it to. O nce you have the band anchored, step back until it’s taut and fle your knees and hips slightly as you keep your torso up straight and tall. e t, keep your torso in place as you pull with your upper back and drive one elbow back behind you. As soon as you reach the end point of the range, return that arm to the starting position as you simultaneously start pulling with the opposite side. C ontinue in a swaying motion until you’ve done 8- 10 r epetitions with each side. Try 2- 3 s ets.

Sp id erm an C raw ls: Although technically more of a mobility drill, this is also a great way to increase strength in the shoulders, hips and core. Get down on the ground in a pushup position and begin by reaching your left arm well in front of your head. K eeping your left arm in place, bring your right knee up so it’s right ne t to your elbow. F rom there, keep your hips nice and low as you reach forward with your right arm, while simultaneously pushing through your right leg and driving your left knee forward in a crawling motion. C ontinue crawling for 6-8 strides per side. F or added difficulty, try doing an asymmetrical push up with each new hand placement.

G otta R u n

inally, while strengthening e ercises are all well and good, at some point you need to get down to the business of running. The drills featured below will help you develop three important facets of speed development: R eaction time, starting strength and acceleration.


L ean, F all, R u n: Here’s a fun drill that will teach you to drive hard off your initial foot fall and turn your feet over as qui ckly as possible while you maintain the proper forward lean. Begin by placing a piece of tape on the ground, or drawing a line on the floor in front of you. tand up straight and tall just behind the line, and keep your body perfectly straight, as you lean forward and begin to fall. O nce you feel your heels start to come off the ground qui ckly drive one foot and the opposite arm forward as you initiate a sprint. C ontinue accelerating and increasing the length of each stride until you’ve taken about 5 steps, then jog it off and return to the starting position. Be sure to alternate which leg you start with each time. Try 8- 10 r epetitions, resting about 15-20 seconds between each.

F lying 20’

High K neeling Sp rint Starts: These are good for increasing hip-extension strength to gain a more powerful start. Begin in a high kneeling position with your left knee on the ground and your right foot out about a foot in front of you and your foot flat on the ground. e t, lean into your front leg until your right knee comes out over your toes to create what’s known as a positive shin angle. As you do this, your left arm will come slightly forward ( and your right elbow back behind your torso) into a good sprinting position. F rom there, take off into a 10- yard sprint by driving into the ground with your right leg as you simultaneously bring your left knee and right arm forward as explosively as possible. The goal is to try and get the take-off leg ( in this case the right) as straight as possible as you extend your hip, thus creating a powerful knee drive with the back leg. print the yards, walk back and repeat with the other side. ry 8- 10 r epetitions. .


The goal here is, once again, to increase acceleration. Go out onto a football field, or track with clearly marked distances. tart out on the goal line, or at least 20 ya rds behind a couple of agility cones. Begin jogging at a qui ck pace, gradually accelerating as you approach the cones. O nce you hit your mark, sprint at top speed for another twenty yards and then jog it off and walk back to the starting line. Try 8- 10 r epetitions.

Be sure to keep your eyes out for the final installment of this series where the focus will be on building explosive strength and multi-directional speed. Until then, remember that speed development is a step-wise process and funny as it may sound, not something that you can just “rush” into.

For more great strength & training information from Mike Mejia, visit his website at 81 WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM

By: Dr. Tom Ferraro February 11, 2012 SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

The Psychology of Basketball

“The most common psychological problem in basketball is losing confidence in your shot” - Dr.Tom Ferraro

W hat’s the most common psychological problem in basketball?


No, it’s not lousy shooting from the foul line. The single most common problem I see in basketball—t he one nearly ever all pla er omes to m offi e to tal a out is the fear of shooting from the field he stor is usuall alwa s the same ou have a oung talented all pla er who is in a slump and no one an sa wh he have lost all onfiden e and hanged their st le of pla from aggressive (shooting the ball) to passive (looking to pass even if an open shot is availa le his usuall adds up to a losing season onfusion and disappointment ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE

“The cause of many slumps is having a coach or parent who screams at a player for mistakes” - Dr.Tom Ferraro

WHY? : he first question that must e answered in these ases is wh did this happen

How could a player who had so much promise, ow and onfiden e now seem li e a frightened rabbit on the court? The reason is usually always the same. The player will have experienced a bad game or two, leading to a lower scoring average, causing him or her to begin doubting their ability. However, this alone will not cause the problem; the “x factor” is an aggressive parent or a coach who is a yeller. The rattled player will decide that it is better to avoid this form of punishment by stopping all chances of failing than being subjected to the verbal abuse. The player is now overreacting to the failure, fearing punishment and embarrassment and then changes his or her style of play from something that has brought them success to one that is timid. All the cajoling and screaming in the world will not change this, because it all happens on a subconscious level. Soon enough, he or she gets depressed, goes into a shell, and sometimes even quits the game entirely, cutting short a promising basketball career. Sometime they decide to reach out and get some professional guidance. Here is what we do to help them: S O L U T I O N S : After we gain an understanding of the causes of the problem, we can now do something about it. Typically, the athlete feels some measure of relief when the cause of their slump is identified and e plained to them n e the athlete is aware of the root of their problem, we work on reminding them how they used to play. W e then give them a much-needed strategy on what to say to themselves when they miss shots. W e teach

“The best way to resolve a slump is to learn that it s okay to miss” - Dr.Tom Ferraro them to say to themselves: “It’s okay to miss, just keep on shooting.” The combination of understanding the root of the problem, learning a new mantra to help during slumps and having someone to talk to without judgment usually does the trick. All athletes need an encouraging coach rather than one that criticizes them after mistakes. The secret of someone such as E li M anning, the M VP of this year’s Super Bowl, is that he had a father, former NFL quarterback Archie M anning, who encouraged him to take chances and that it’s okay to fail. The secret of the New Y ork Y ankees’ winning ways was J oe Torre, who always told his players that it’s okay to take a chance when running the bases. This allowed them to play the game relaxed. The same holds true in basketball. W hen the player senses that it’s okay to fail from time to time, they become free, which allows them to shoot and play instinctively. The slump is a miserable thing to endure, but it is possible for a player to break free of its grasp without quitting the game they love. So if you’re a basketball player in a slump and playing in a passive manner, learn to tell yourself that it’s okay to miss. K eep shooting; breaking a slump isn’t as hard as you think. WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM



It was the perfect storm of circumstances. Lin’s opUnless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of the portunity came because the Knicks two biggest stars, newest sports sensation, Jeremy Lin. For all the hype and hoopla surrounding Lin’s Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, were out emergence as the starting point guard for the New of the lineup. Lin took over, scoring 134 points in the York Knicks—he graduated from Harvard in a first five games, logging significant playing time. Conleague where most players only attend college for a sider that he had scored 108 total points in the first 38 year, is the first prominent Asian-American in the games of his career, and you begin to understand how NBA and is playing in New York, the biggest media unlikely this stretch of games has been for Lin.

The most polarizing aspect of Lin’s ascent to NBA market on earth—one thing is crystal clear: the guy stardom is his race. Being the only Asian-American can play. The most difficult thing to wrap your mind player in the NBA has made Lin an icon. Any NBA around in this ongoing saga is the fact that Lin may player rising from the obscurity of the developmental very well be here to stay. He’s playing at a high level league to put up the numbers Lin has would make for in a system that is built to inflate offensive numbers a big story, but it’s the media market of New York and and help the point guard distribute the ball. The to- the novelty of seeing an Asian-American succeed in tal numbers over Lin’s first four starts are getting the NBA that has landed him on the websites of CNN the most publicity—he has the highest point total and Time Magazine. of any player in his first four starts since the NBAABA merger. But around these parts, it’s a much bigger deal that Lin basically resuscitated a Knicks season that was on the verge of disaster, a season that had high expectations after the offseason signing of dominant center Tyson Chandler.

With the spotlight now burning on a player who has never been a prominent player on a team with significant media coverage, it will be interesting to see how Lin handles the added pressure. Just keeping up the basketball side of things with Anthony and Stoudemire coming back, and trying to guide a team with


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one of the most passionate and demanding fan bases in the league back to the playoffs would be a great accomplishment. Doing all that with the rock star-like following that’s sure to come will only make it more difficult. The one thing that’s certain is that the NBA has never seen a story quite like this. An unknown player coming from the D-League to carry a struggling franchise in the biggest media market in the country to five-straight wins without its two biggest stars, and doing it with flair and charisma on the court is unprecedented. Even if he eventually comes back to Earth and settles in as a solid distributor and starter, the Knicks and their fans will be extremely happy. And they’ll always remember the week when Jeremy Lin became a national phenomenon that ruled New York. Written by: Gene Morris






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