In his debut album Jimi Hendrix asked the musical question, “Are You Experienced?” This year, the Rye High Boys’ basketball team can answer with a resounding “Yes!”
By Mitch Silver
In his debut album Jimi Hendrix asked the musical question, “Are You Experienced?” This year, the Rye High Boys’ basketball team can answer with a resounding “Yes!” Third-year head coach John Aguilar will be able to send a half- dozen twelfth-graders onto the court at any time, all of them with game experience.
It’s a far cry from a year ago, when the Garnets had a single returning starter and only four boys who’d ever been on the court for a varsity game. No wonder the team wound up the season with double-digit losses.
Still, if Hendrix asked “Are You Tall?” or “Are You Fast?”, the current Garnets would be forced to respond, “Not particularly.” Take a look at the picture accompanying this article: lots of six-footers, but nobody much taller than that. Standing side-by-side in the middle are football-stars-turned-hoops-heroes Andrew Livingston and Drew Abate. One will be bringing the ball up court and distributing it; the other will be expected to rebound and score down low. An inch, maybe, separates the two.
As Coach Aguilar prepared his team to face Yonkers in their season opener (post-press time), he said, “It’s the league schedule I’m concerned about. Eastchester and Pelham have tall trees down low, and they’re good.”
He went on to discuss his 2014-15 Garnets, who lost Jay Little and Daniel Mangum to graduation. “We’ll be starting our third point guard in three years, so ball handling will definitely be a focal point for us in practice. Right now I am very pleased with how well we share the ball and pass up good shots for great ones.”
Another two-sports star, baseball pitcher George Kirby, will be asked to build on his sophomore season, when he scored in double figures. With Patrick Hull, Pierce Crowley, and Will Durkee logging major minutes, the Garnets should be competitive in just about every game.
“This may be the hardest working team I have ever coached at any level from top to bottom,” the coach said as he ran his team through its drills. “If we continue to work and support each other, we can sneak up on some teams throughout the year.” Rye’s Charlie Nagle had 15 points in the Garnets’ 44-39 win Wednesday at Yonkers.