Success in the Near Future for Boys Basketball


Cherish Curtis

Varsity boys basketball team shakes hands with Parker team after annual Latin-Parker game at DePaul.

With their season fast approaching, Latin’s varsity boys basketball team plans on using a highly experienced squad in hopes of making it as far as they can in the state this year, as well as reclaiming their ownership over their renowned rivals, Parker.

“We need to show up and work hard day in and day out at practice, because at the end of the day, whatever you put into practice is what you’re gonna get out,” senior shooting guard Nick Rotter said. Nick has been on the varsity roster since his freshman year and has plenty of in-game experience.

Varsity boys basketball is one of the most popular teams at Latin, with the annual rivalry game against Parker selling out DePaul University’s stadium twice a year. The game draws in alumni, parents, and even Latin students as young as 6.

After a nail-biter and blowout loss versus Parker last season, the team is looking to regain the confidence of the student body. “We need a comeback,” senior Tia Schlesinger said.

Last year’s varsity team introduced many new faces, and it took time for the players to get used to running Head Coach Aubrey DeNard’s offensive and defensive schemes in games.

Senior and point guard Calvin King IV said, “We know we’ve gotten much better, and we have high expectations for ourselves.”

Because this year’s team will be made up primarily of seniors who have worked with Coach DeNard before, he should have an easier time making quick adjustments to his plays.

“Our goal is to not make changes but to build on execution offensively and defensively,” Coach DeNard said.

While seniors will make up the bulk of the team and most likely take up the majority of the minutes, the program holds a lot of young talent. Sophomore Connor Kernan said he believes he can “bring a good jump shot to the team and potential for the future.” With strong leadership in the grades above him, Connor may develop into a core piece of the team as he gets older.

Entering his fourth season on varsity, senior and point guard Ryan Mbouombouo—mentioned on Illinois’ all-state team and voted top three players in the Independent School League—will be a determining factor in the outcome of the team’s season.

“My eyes are now set on all the things that I didn’t achieve last season: team success,” Ryan said.

Overall, the team seems to believe they have what it takes to win the state championship and bring home the big trophy for the first time in Latin history.

In terms of the mishaps of last year, Nick said, “They won’t be something we think about too much.” The team plans on taking the positives and running with them.

Ryan said, “Our goal for this season is to not only end the drought but to make new history by winning a state championship.”