Alexandra de Leon
La Verne’s basketball club, Leo Hoops, is gearing up and getting ready for another year of fun, competitive basketball.
Tryouts for the team were successful this week, as many freshmen came out and brought new talent to the team.
“We saw a lot of variety and a lot of potential. The best part was that most of the guys that came out today were of the freshman class,” junior business major Adam Plax, Leo Hoops president and founder, said.
Plax, who has a passion and love for basketball, started Leo Hoops as a competitive co-ed basketball club for students to actively participate in.
The three head coaches – senior chemistry major Bryan Okereke, senior biology major Nathanael Burchardt and junior international language and business major Ryan Gray – all agreed that the team needed to get stronger defensively and work on communicating.
“Communication is a huge part to basketball,” Burchardt said. “I hope some guys put aside their egos and they just play.”
Seeing all the new prospective players working hard, the coaches were collectively happy with the tryouts.
“We saw guys hustling and the guys were taking it serious, which is what I appreciate since this isn’t a Division III team, it’s a club team,” Okereke said.
Basketball experience is necessary for tryouts and Leo Hoops is anticipated to take on 12 members this semester. Leo Hoops has the fewest members on the team among the schools in the west region.
“I’m looking forward to a hard working group of guys that are willing to work, willing to improve and that is willing to play hard,” Gray said.
With the team struggling to get more University funding, Leo Hoops plans on doing various fundraising events, like hosting an outdoor basketball clinic for kids and possibly getting a GoFundMe account.
The team looks forward to another successful season this year and hopes to get more support from other students on campus.
Leo Hoops’ goal is to make it to the NIRSA West Regionals tournament in Sacramento at the end of the semester.
Their season kicks off Oct. 24 at Cal State Northridge.
Alexandra de Leon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.