Basketball preview2 min read

Men’s basketball team sets sights high as season starts

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courtesy of De Anza's Basketball Team

Ready to play – The men of De Anza’s 2012-13 basketball team stand together wirh pride.

Rajvir Kaur

Excitement is brewing among the men of the De Anza College basketball team now that the season is starting.
After five weeks of rigorous training, it is time for the Dons to shine.
The men’s basketball team consists of four returning sophomores, seven red-shirts/grayshirts, and 13 freshmen. Head coach Jason Damjanovic is assisted by Chris Malloy, Phil White, Eric Davis and three team managers, along with director of operations, Kirk Lee.
Over the course of five weeks, the players have had to grow individually as well as collectively to form a team.
Bringing players together and creating a team is not easy, Damjanovic said.
“Community college is the most difficult level to coach,” he said, “because you have to find players who buy into your philosophy and they have to work with the other players you have. It’s easy to throw a bunch of talented players out there, but how do you manage them and get them to work together?
“You have them for such a short period of time, therefore it’s not easy creating a family atmosphere,” Damjanovic said.
He stresses the importance of creating a family environment with his team every year.
He said he hopes that spending so much time with teammates throughout the season will lead to close relationships that will go beyond the basketball court.
Although their time at De Anza may be brief, Damjanovic said  he hopes his players take away a skill set that will help them not only in athletics, but in all other future endeavors.
These young men have been pushed by their coaches and they have pushed themselves as well as their teammates to build the team they are proud of.
“We’re excited,” said Damjanovic. “We can’t wait to go and play.”
Dons’ shooting guard, Armin Paras, said they have a strong team. “We can go to the playoffs if we work hard and keep it together.”
Postman Abu Tratter has high expectations for the team, and stated that this team is “in it to win,” with the road ending at a conference championship.
After butting heads and “learning to play their roles [in] the team,” point guard Denzel Copeland said they can get at least 20 plus wins.
Damjanovic said that win or lose, the game is the reward. The 200 minutes of game time is when these student athletes have the ability to show others what they are made of. The game is the players’ “time to shine.”

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