Daniel returns for his second year with the Varsity squad, having lettered last season as a backup junior point guard. Daniel is blessed with tremendous speed and quickness, though his ability to change speeds is what makes him an able ball handler. Coaches and teammates praise Daniel for his shooting ability as well, and he will be counted on to knock down the open jumper this season. Look for Daniel to enter the game as a tempo changing point guard, increasing pace on both ends of the floor.
Chris resumes his Varsity career after suffering a difficult elbow injury last season which sidelined him for all of 2013. A player who was projected to start at point last season, Chris is back and the coaches are thrilled about it. Chris embodies all things that a point guard should be. He understands the offensive and defensive systems, communicates with coaches and teammates on the floor and can score the ball in various ways when the moment dictates. He is a true "floor general." Chris and fellow senior captain Jake Stenberg have provided tremendous leadership for the Islanders throughout the preseason. We're all excited to have Chris back on the floor for his final season in the maroon and white!
Jake follows up his letter winning junior season as a team captain alongside backcourt mate Chris Lawler. Last year, Jake started the season on the JV squad before an injury to Will Taylor thrust him into big time duty by midseason. Jake filled in admirably, and the Islanders didn't miss a beat, as he hit big shots and provided solid perimeter defense throughout the second half of the year. As a senior, Jake will be counted on for a more vocal leadership role on and off the floor. On the court, Jake will be featured as one of MI's defensive "stoppers" as well as an attacking driver and shooter on the offensive side. We can't wait to see Jake's exciting senior season unfold.
Peter returns to the Varsity squad this season after splitting time between JV and Varsity last year. A former post player at the middle school level, Peter's skill set is varied, with the ability to shoot and drive from the perimeter as well as the footwork to be creative once he gets to the paint. Peter's natural leadership is also an important asset to the team. As student body president, it's no surprise that Peter provides a vital "locker room presence" for this Islander squad. Look for Peter to provide depth on the wings this season.
Kaleb returns for his third and final season on the Varsity squad. A two-year letterman and returning First Team All-Kingco winner, Kaleb is far and away the most experienced Islander this season. Kaleb finished third on the team in scoring last season at 13.2 points per game and earned tournament team honors at the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge. In mid-November, Kaleb's commitment to the game led to him to signing a letter of intent to attend the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California on a basketball scholarship. For the Islanders in 2014, Kaleb will be counted on for consistent play on both ends of the floor. He is, without a doubt, one of the top three-point threats in the Kingco Conference. In addition to his shooting prowess, Kaleb will be asked to attack the basket with regularity and facilitate opportunities for his teammates. Defensively, Kaleb will use his length to bother shooters and contribute to the rebounding efforts. Kaleb has the potential to garner Kingco MVP honors by season's end.
Teddy returns to the Varsity squad after a letter winning junior season as a backup post player. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, Teddy saw tremendous athletic growth for himself, which didn't come without a serious commitment of time in the Chiles strength program. Teddy was in the mix as a junior before a late season injury ended his season. Over the summer and fall, it became clear that Teddy was going to be a major piece for this 2014 squad. Teddy will be leaned upon to provide interior defense and rebounding. His relentless work ethic on the court is the trademark of this Islander team.
Jack returns for his second Varsity season after a letter winning junior season as a backup perimeter and post player. Last season, Jack played an important reserve role behind a bevy of experienced seniors and was often asked to focus on the defensive end. This season, Jack will be counted on to provide more scoring to the Islander attack along with his typical hard-nosed play. After a great season on the gridiron, the coaching staff is looking forward to Jack's toughness out on the hoop court.
Nick begins his first year of play on the Varsity squad after dealing with a multitude of injuries in his first two high school seasons. In fact, Nick has only played in two games (at the Frosh level) during his career. Shockingly enough, this hasn't slowed him down too much, at least if the summer was any indication. Nick is a versatile playmaker that hangs his hat on tough, hard-nosed play all the time. There isn't a possession that this guy takes off. On the offensive end, Nick likes to attack the rim with ferocity, but has the vision and finesse to drop it off to his teammates. Defensively, Nick has the potential to be a serious "stopper" for the Islanders. Though inexperienced, like several others on this year's squad, Nick will be a known Kingco commodity by season's end.
Gabriel comes to Mercer Island this school year via O'Dea High School after a family move. Upon his arrival, the coaches were pleased with his potential and commitment to the game. Gabe is another long and rangy left hander to add to this year's squad, joining Kaleb Warner and Andrew Pickles as Islander southpaws. Gabriel's strengths lie in his ability to attack the basket, use touch inside to finish and also extend the defense with outside shooting. Though inexperienced at first, Gabriel will adjust quickly and make a name for himself in the maroon and white.
David returns to the Varsity squad as a junior after splitting time between JV and Varsity last season, and wrapping up a very successful football season this fall. Though he was behind a loaded group of perimeter players last season, David showed his medal in practice, beating up the starters with regularity with his aggressive and attacking mentality. Over the spring and summer, David worked on his outside shooting, which will help complement his ability to get into the teeth of the defense and make plays. David has also improved defensively and will be asked to bring a "stopper's" mentality to the floor each night. Overall, David's toughness, leadership and improved skills on both ends of the floor will pay big dividends for the Islanders this season.
No one has waited longer than Andrew to wear the maroon and white. After a serious of troubling injuries over the last several years, Andrew is finally healthy and making his presence felt on the Varsity court. And quite a presence he is! At 6'7 and 225 pounds, Andrew isn't shy about using his body to his advantage. He seeks physical play but is still light on his feet. Andrew also has an honest desire to learn and get better, with the potential to become a very special player before he is done at MI. As the only true center on the Islander squad, Andrew will be leaned upon to stay out of foul trouble and anchor down the middle on both ends of the floor for the maroon and white.
Emerson is another sophomore that will make his Varsity debut this season. With outstanding speed and athleticism, Emerson brings a multitude of talents to the floor. Defensively, his quickness and strength allow him to guard four positions. Over time, Emerson will develop into an Islander "stopper." On the offensive side, Emerson is a fearless attacker of the basket who is developing more confidence in his jump shot every day. As this growth continues, and his ball handling skills are given some attention, Emerson will develop into an outstanding and versatile player who will be hard to take off the floor.
Ethan is an exciting freshman prospect for the Islander squad. It is rare that a Freshman can make the Varsity team, but Ethan's skill set and attitude have made this an easy choice for the Islander coaching staff. Humble and quiet by nature, the coaching staff hopes that Ethan's game can become a little bit louder than his personality. Offensively, Ethan boasts a number of different skills that will continue to develop over time. Facing the basket, he has a quick first step on the drive and an accurate mid-range jumper that is now extending to the three point line. On the other end, Ethan's length and footwork will help the Islander defense, as he has the ability to defend multiple positions, including post players. Ethan is especially talented as a shot blocker. Over the next four years, Ethan will develop into an outstanding player, most likely sooner rather than later.
Riley joins the Varsity squad as lead manager after spending time working games with HotJamz radio last season. Riley is an extremely dedicated member of the team who has already impressed the coaches and players with his commitment to the team and ability to pick things up quickly. As a manager, Riley plays an important role alongside the coaching staff, managing a multitude of responsibilities including the handling of all equipment, uniforms, practice set up, planning and many other vital details that keep the team rolling at a high level of efficiency. Riley is also asked to contribute during practices, whether it be playing a role in drills or running the scoreboard and shot clock. Riley is next in a long list of outstanding MI Boys Basketball managers (a few of whom have gone on to manage at the college level). The 2014 squad is lucky to have him as a part of this team.