SJ Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Evan Keimig ’16

Last season, the Jesuit basketball team reached the UIL bi-district playoffs following an impressive late-season string of victories in district play. The Crusaders were then defeated by Westside High School in the bi-district playoffs, setting up a hopeful and energetic 2014-15 team.

The gradual success of last year’s team featured a combination of many talented student athletes, including Hunter Thompson ’14, who was named the District 19-5A Offensive Player-of the-Year. Notably, 8 Crusaders also received Academic All-District recognition, including Justin Chukwujekwu, Brian Doyle, Wilson Dunn, John Jewett, Dylan Livit, Hunter Thompson, Matt Stomberg, and Peter Daniel Ighedosa. Additionally, Nathaniel West ’16 was named 2nd Team All-District last year, and will be returning for his Junior season this winter.

Coach Amorosa has high expectations for both the players and the student support for this coming season.

“I expect us to compete for a playoff spot, improve as the year goes on, and come together as a team,” stated Coach Amorosa.

Jesuit basketball is a program with tradition of strong competition and impressive public recognition, and the 2014-15 Crusaders look to keep the ball rolling in a challenging 19-6A district. Offseason workouts are filled with players looking forward to the time to take the court for Jesuit later this semester. This season, the Crusaders open with a big matchup at home against rival St. Thomas, in a game which promises to start the basketball season with excitement.

When asked about the competition of 19-6A basketball Coach Amorosa said, “It’s a quality opponent every night in January and February. The advantage is you’re playing against schools that are three times our size but we’re still competitive enough to compete for a playoff spot.”

Moving forward, the 2014-15 season is highlighted by 14 district and 9 total home games. A refined student section has been created through the SJ Spirit Club, which looks forward to this exciting opportunity to invite students from every class to join in the support of the basketball team.

Coach Amorosa explained the significance of strong support by students to help carry the team throughout the season, stating the support is “a difference maker, and can add 5 to 10 points to a game”.

“Student fan support is probably one of the biggest motivators for our players, so the more we can get kids to come out and cheer for our team…the more exciting the atmosphere can be” added Coach Amorosa.

With the opportunities the 2014-15 Crusaders have been given, this season looks to be an exciting one, full of tough competition, lots of fan support, and a chance for another playoff spot.