Basketball time

Basketball is right around the corner! The National Basketball Association gets of the ground next Monday with Media Day for the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, and the junior and senior colleges soon follow with their tryouts, and practices and then comes the high school kids.

They’ll all be hitting the hardwood in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the schoolboys are staying in shape and there is no finer way for these athletes to practice under game situations or even on their own in various classics or tournaments. One such ‘league’ as one may even call it is the IS 8 one in south Jamaica, whose personnel stages it during an open period when college recruiters are allowed to attend. These college coaches are allowed to observe high school players under game conditions with officials during ‘contact period.’ Many schoolboy rules apply to these games.

Every fall IS 8 holds a showcase at their own gym, but because of its unavailability due to some work going on, the league officials moved it to the ElmCor Youth and Adult Center in Corona. The ElmCor personnel have been indeed satisfied and honored to host such games for the two weekends.

Caught looking at their ‘future players’ was the Adelphi College coaching staff.

“I have seen a lot of players (over the years),” said Brian Kuar, first year an assistant coach at the Garden City, Long Island-based college. “IS 8 is a backyard for New York City players. A lot of coaches come here, and I am happy I’m here caching at Adelphi.”

“ElmCor has a great gym,” said Kuar who played there when he was a kid. “My brother Ian Kuar grew up and played in Corona,” added Kuar.

ElmCor is a great place to stage games. It’s a great facility and easy to get (to this site) here. IS 8 has great tradition and is a legend. It’s important is to keep it there.

The coaching staff and the players as well are looking forward toward the actual season.

Different schools look for different aspects of the game.

“We (at Adelphi) are particularly looking for players, in general,” noted Head Coach Dominic Savino, whose team starts the regular season on Nov. 13. “I always tell people that if you go to IS 8, you see the best players in the country and who you also see guys who are playing for the love of the game.”

Parents of some of the players have a chance to see their children in action under game conditions.

This league certainly gets the student athletes ready for the high school season which really counts.

Tony Wilson is the father of St. Dominic’s junior, Ishah Wilson, who has many years of experience under his belt. He is 16 and playing in the 19 and under IS 8 League.

“This IS 8 League is very competitive,” said Marshall Louis, a senior at Holy Cross High School. “We have to play defense to get us a win.”

“This is a tough league as we get ready for high school ball,” noted Coach Andrew Evans. “It’s not about the wins and losses. It’s about getting better. We don’t have a bunch of stars. We play as a team, defend and try to get a win.”

“I’m working on my game” said Patrick Jackson, a junior at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset. “Defense wins games. We have a lot. It’s basketball time!

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