Boys Varsity Basketball at Kingswood Oxford Invitational

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Boys Varsity Basketball at Kingswood Oxford Invitational

Alpin Yukseloglu '19

Alpin Yukseloglu '19

Alpin Yukseloglu '19

Alpin Yukseloglu, Campus Reporter

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At the beginning of every basketball season, Coach Paul Lee gives his players a sheet that reads: “things that drive Coach Lee crazy.” Among points like “not learning from your mistakes,” Lee has also written out one new point that represents his values as a coach. It reads, “lift up your teammates.” In four words, Coach Lee captures the essence of his vision as the new varsity boys basketball coach at Kent.

Coach Lee has thirty years of college-level basketball coaching experience at institutions like Columbia University, Northwestern University, and most recently, Marist University, and he says that these experiences with college programs heavily shaped his vision as a high school coach.

He explains, “I want to run my program like it’s a college program. Kent prepares students for college from an academic and social standpoint – I want to do the same thing for my players athletically.”

Over winter break, the varsity boys basketball team played in the Kingswood Oxford Invitational Tournament (KIT), at the Kingswood-Oxford School in Connecticut.

Unfortunately, Kent had to play the host team for their first game. After a rocky start, the boys inched towards a winning score with each play, coming within one point of taking the lead at twelve minutes remaining in the game. Over the next plays, however, one player from Kingswood-Oxford scored a streak of six three-point shots, leaving Kent little room to fight back. Although the team wound up losing, Lee noted that such losses often “have nothing to do with how well the team played.”

Coach Lee emphasized certain obstacles outside of the team’s control. “Right now we don’t have the size that some of the programs we’re playing against have,” he says. “That will be a constant battle for us throughout the season.”

Even so, Coach Lee praises the talent on the team. He describes Captain CJ Brito-Trinidad ’19 as “a natural leader” and one who “does it with a smile.” He is glad “to have a point guard who has bought in so quickly to what my vision is on playing, and then has been able to share that with his teammates – to have that in a guy who you inherited and did not even recruit – is invaluable.”

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