Dribbling, shooting and scoring: this combination of skills makes up only a mere half of a basketball player’s mentality when playing basketball. With yet another year of rigorous competition, the CHS basketball team is preparing to utilize these simple skills, along with their knowledge of teamwork and gameplay, to face some of the toughest teams around the county.
CHS plans on using a variety of new strategies and gameplay approaches to improve their record and redeem themselves from their loss against Whitman HS last year in the second round of playoffs. With seven newcomers, as well as new head coach David Blumenthal, returning players are expected to guide and build the team over the course of the season.
“One major change to the team this year would be Coach Blumenthal,” junior David Orta said. “He has done a terrific job preparing us for the start of our season in both practice and film. He has the team fully invested and ready to change the culture.”
Despite losing 2017 alumnus and strong starter Bradley Leventhal, the team has added seven new players to the team this year in order to fill the void. Although slots may be filled, rebuilding a strong chemistry and core amongst the starting five, presents a potential challenge for the team.
“Obviously Bradley was extremely influential in previous success of the program,” junior TJ Richardson said. “But, hopefully we will be able to play better team basketball in the future.”
This is the inaugural season of head coach David Blumenthal along with new assistant coaches Justin Junghans, Nick Mast and Don Williams, so the team will look to start off strong under new leadership.
“One of the biggest expectations that we as the coaching staff has is to compete and get better everyday,” Blumenthal said. “We understand that as a new team and program, it is going to take time.”
Although the basketball season is just beginning to kick into full gear, the team made sure they were in peak condition over the offseason, by participating in workouts multiple nights each week. They also played in a summer league among schools from MCPS.
“During the offseason we worked as a team in the weight room and on the track and we had open gym a couple nights per week which helped develop chemistry before the season,” senior captain Reed Moshyedi said.
Off the court, it is essential that players are able to unite and feel connected with one another.
“When we weren’t in the gym at CHS, we were getting together a group of guys to play against some local [team],” Orta said.“I think that really helped in terms of our chemistry as a team.”
One of the biggest barriers towards the team’s success is the intense competition found throughout the county. With several highly competitive travel basketball teams around the area, MCPS teams remain very selective in the players they choose, making the basketball team one of the hardest teams to make at CHS.
“Whitman is a team that is really tough year in and year out and is probably our biggest competition within the division,” Blumenthal said. “Outside of them, Bethesda Chevy-Chase, Richard Montgomery, Gaithersburg and Kennedy are all tough competition. But if the beginning of the season is any indication, any team can beat anyone on any given night.”
Although competition may be tough for the team this year, it won’t stop them from competing at their absolute best. With a combination of practice, gameplay and team bonding, the team will put forward their best effort in making this season as successful as possible.
“In terms of the playoffs, I think that we can go a lot farther than people expect if we continue to work hard and get better on a daily basis,” Orta said. “I’ve read many previews for our region and no one has mentioned CHS in a significant or positive way. Everyone is overlooking us. I think that we are going to make people eat their words and regret sleeping on us. We are going to take everything one game at a time, but our goal down the line is of course to win the region.”