Photo by Vipul Dua ’20 | Brophy’s 7th period basketball class runs through a drill with Varsity Head Coach Matthew Hooten.
By Xander Welty ’21
Last year’s varsity basketball team finished their season 26-1 and made it to the state semi-finals.
This year, with a young core and senior leaders, they are looking to build off of last year’s accomplishments.
“I think last year’s success gave our guys who are returning a sense of confidence and sense of purpose and ultimately a pathway to follow to find success,” said head varsity basketball coach Mr. Matthew Hooten.
Mr. Hooten is hoping that the momentum can help this team who will endure a tough schedule this year.
Ryan Gilburne ’19, a rising senior on the basketball team, believes that the young team can thrive against the tough opponents.
“We are going to have some tough opponents this year,” Gilburne said. “I am confident that if we can get a little bit better each practice, then we are going to set ourselves up to do well in those games.”
Even though they are looking to be propelled by last years success, junior Basil Ribakare ’20thinks that the team doesn’t need the added pressure to be like last years team.
“Our goal is to not try to be the same team from last year or be the #1 team,” Ribakare said.”If we do that, it will put a weight on our shoulders that we don’t need.”
Mr. Hooten is looking for new guys to step up and fill in the roles of the seniors that left last year.
“Guys who played complementary roles last year or guys who played JV or freshman have an opportunity to try and step in,” Mr. Hooten said.
In terms of goals for this year, Mr. Hooten isn’t concerned with the number of wins and losses.
“We are going to try to play our best game of the season every time we step out onto the floor,” Mr. Hooten said. “If we do that and continue to improve we’ll put ourselves in a position at the end of the year to try and make a run in the playoffs.”
Mr. Hooten said that he hopes Brophy basketball can grow over the next five years and beyond.
“I would love to see Brophy and Brophy basketball become a thing that all basketball players in the city of Phoenix aspire to be a part of,” Mr. Hooten said. “Hopefully it will be a place that guys who are serious about basketball know as an opportunity for them to a). pursue basketball, but b). to be a part of a place that’s going to help them grow and develop academically and spiritually.”