Ladue’s hunger for victory

The+Ladue+boys+basketball+team+places+third+in+state.+They+lost+to+St+Marys+in+the+third+place+playoff+game+of+the+2018-2019+season.+%22Don%E2%80%99t+sleep+on+us%22

The Ladue boys basketball team places third in state. They lost to St Marys in the third place playoff game of the 2018-2019 season. "Don’t sleep on us"

During the 2018-2019 season, the Ladue basketball team placed third in the state. While this may satisfy some teams, in Ladue’s case it seems to have made them hungrier, with the program aiming to win it all in the 2019-2020 season.

After losing to St Mary’s in a vital playoff game last season, the coaches realized that some changes needed to be made. In this case, Ladue opted to bring in a new staff member in an attempt to bring about changes and better themselves for the upcoming season.

“We have a new assistant coach who has us focused a lot on skill development and improving on our weaknesses,” Ari Horowitz said.

In an attempt to get better as a team, they have to address their weaknesses, and with the addition of the new assistant coach, they can hopefully work and turn those weaknesses into strengths.

“If we are able to communicate, play to our strengths, play hard, limit our turnovers, and give it our all, then we can win everything this year,” Mekonnen Deneke states.

With Ladue on a mission this year, the role of a leader is important. Thankfully for Ladue, two seniors by the name of Jaylen Boyd, and Evan Schneider are more than up for the task as they look to make an impact on the court.

“Jaylen and Evan are definitely leaders on the court, they pick up the team and hypes up everybody with their big plays. I would say that they show up in the big games, and they stay cool under pressure, which is a trait that a leader needs,” Deneke said.

Spending a long amount of time with the same people every day, is bound to bring players closer together, and create long standing friendships. These players know that whether they need help on the court or off of it, they have people willing to help them. Being a part of a team is like being a part of a family, you are surrounded by people who care about you, and want to help you better yourself not only as a player but as a person.

“It’s like being in a family since you have a specific role and you always have people wanting to help you achieve your goals and get better,” Deneke said. 

Ari Horowitz, who has played on the team for three years, feels similarly that the team has grown quite close this year.

“It’s really fun, I’m with them every day and I’ve definitely gotten close to everyone on the team, its as if we’re a large family,” Horowitz said.

To some, basketball is just a sport, however to others it’s a way of life. Playing basketball can really shape and change you as a person.

“Basketball has affected and improved my work ethic, discipline, leadership skills, and my mental and physical toughness,” Horowitz said.

With basketball being such a vigorous and requiring sport, players need to take care of themselves to ensure they don’t get injured and can perform at the top level. The importance of self-care is immeasurable.

“I make sure I’m hydrated, eating healthy, and am loose before I play. I also make sure to get some shots in beforehand,” Horowitz said.

While it may seem difficult now, with Ladue’s determination and hunger, as well as a thirst for revenge, they are certainly a team to be feared and are serious contenders for this year’s state title.

“Don’t sleep on us,” Horowitz said.