Athlete(s) of the Issue: Ben Krambeck and Izz Hernandez

El Buchanan When watching a Boy’s Varsity Basketball game you may have noticed two new faces: freshmen Izz Hernandez and Ben Krambeck. The 4th and 5th freshmen in Latin history to make Boy’s Varsity Basketball, both Ben and Izz began the season as the starting point guard and power forward, respectively, though the coaches have played around with starting positions since. Ben’s dribbling and ballhandling ability coupled with his usually accurate shooting and exceptional finishing at the hoop was what originally made him stand out to the coaches,” remarked team manager Jacob Cummis. “As for Izz, it was his length, jump-shot, and overall raw ability that stood out. The prospect of these two young, budding freshmen who had the chance to impact the team immediately—in their first year in high school and on the team—and to grow as centerpieces of the program over the course of four years was the ultimate decider of why these highly-skilled youngsters found themselves on the school’s varsity squad so quickly.” Izz and Ben have been playing basketball together since 5th grade and could not be happier to be going through this experience together. Upon seeing the roster for the first time back in November, Izz knew that “it was privilege, not a right, to be on the [Varsity] team.” Both freshmen knew they had to step up their game to match their competition but loved the challenge, citing the “expectation to keep up” as a means to prove themselves. The upperclassmen have been very welcoming, they said, especially seniors Danny DeGraff and Andrew Wiggin, who have been mentors to both the freshmen. Of all the games and practices, their favorite moment this season was the Latin vs. Parker game at DePaul. Ben said, “I’ve been watching the game since 2nd grade and never imagined being able to play in the game.” They also talked of how the intensity of each game was something they had to get use to and said their favorite part of basketball is the ability to see yourself improve. From the way they have talked about this season, it seems like they are living their favorite part and have many opportunities to improve in the future. The team has had a respectable season thus far, with a record of 8-6 overall (3-2 in conference), but hopes to do better. Cummis said, “There is still plenty of time for the team to turn things around and get the season back on the track everyone originally thought it would be on. Losses have in large part come down to one star on the opposing team playing out of their mind and being on the wrong side of the rebound differential. The team’s string of bad luck is sure to run out soon, so look for a strong showing in the second half of the season, hopefully en route to a league title!” To see these two freshmen play alongside their team, go cheer them on at Latin’s home game at DePaul this Friday! And don’t forget to get there at 6:00 for the girl’s game! ]]>