One game. One point.
That’s all that separated Sewanhaka Indians boys basketball team from making the playoffs last season. And coach Jason Allen reminds his team of it every practice.
“We put the score (70-69) on the scoreboard at practice, to remind them the way last season ended, how close they were,” said Allen, of the season-finale loss at Roslyn. “It brings a little extra juice to practice.”
With seven players returning from last year’s squad including five seniors, Allen is confident that a postseason berth will come to fruition this season.
“We’re due for a big year this year,” said Allen, entering his fourth year as Sewanhaka’s varsity coach. “We as a coaching staff have high expectations, winning our (Nassau A-I) conference and making a deep run in the playoffs.”
The Indians are led by senior forward Carlos Bodden, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last season.
Allen says Bodden improved on his perimeter shooting and ball handling in the offseason which fits right into his team’s plans on offense.
“He’ll have the opportunity to play outside more,” said Allen. “In our system, we have one true big guy, three wing players and a point guard. But you’ll see a lot of guys handle the ball, our three wings are interchangeable.”
Joining Bodden on the wing, will be senior Danori Williams and junior Elijah Tracey. Allen calls Tracey the fastest kid on the team who can also guard three positions on the court. Regarding Williams, Allen said he’s a “tough guy, not afraid to big shots, vocal leader for us.”
Depth at the center position is a strength for the Indians. Justin Alexander, a 6-foot-5 senior, is the starter and backing him up will be 6-foot-5 senior Ahmed Farooq and 6-foot-4 junior transfer Luke Ianddli, who attended Chaminade High School last year. Allen is excited about Ianddli’s addition to the program.
“He’s very skilled for his size, decent mid-range shot, and he’s a good rebounder,” said Allen. “The ball just always finds him.”
Sophomore Kamoy Silvera will man the point guard spot. Silvera’s teammates call him “CP3” after NBA superstar point guard Chris Paul, for his ability to set teammates up for easy baskets.
“Carlos [Bodden] might be our best player, but Kamoy [Silvera] is our most important player,” Allen said. “He’s probably the first true point guard I had since I started coaching here. When you have a player like that, you’re a better team for it.”
Sewanhaka kicks off their 2014-15 season in a non-league game at—where else—Roslyn.
“That’s something that we looked as a major test, see what the mental fortitude of our players are going to be,” Allen said. “We’re a different team than last year.”