The Red & Black

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Raiders’ Basketball: The Best Is Yet to Come

Coach+Dortonne+talks+to+the+team+before+practice.
Coach Dortonne talks to the team before practice.

Coach Dortonne talks to the team before practice.

Photo by Justin Valverde

Photo by Justin Valverde

Coach Dortonne talks to the team before practice.

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The key to success is always debatable. Does it come from hard-work and perseverance or rather is it a mixture of natural gifts and one’s own drive? If you look at it from the former perspective, then it is fair to say success is a long-term project, requiring much dedication and fine-tuning to finally get where you wish to be. Here at Pat-Med, from education to clubs and sports, even if you may not be the best, it is always expected that you give it your all. Recently, there is no better example of this concept than that of the Pat-Med Raiders men’s basketball team. Lead by Coach Dortonne and boasting a starting line-up of Nolan Creen, Brian Dellecave, Patrick Dellecave, Noah Stevenson, and Nate Ormond, the team has shown that success is not gifted to you- it is earned.

Long ago, way before any of us students were in the high-school, the team was able to make the playoffs and gave it there all in 2009. However since then, we have suffered over a nine year drought in being able to compete for the title, despite the yearning from the players and fans. From the get-go, the feeling in the gym was palpable: the drive and hunger of the players was noticeably different from that of previous years, and you could sense that feeling of excitement. To better understand the team you have to look deeper than basketball: the players share more than a working relationship, they are a cohesive unit on and off the court. For many of them, they have become so close that the comradery between them has a life of its own, and it is these connections and friendships that translate into on-court chemistry to create the fluid and smooth style that they play. Of course, this is neither to discredit anything the coach has done nor take away the skills of these guys on the court, but in order to succeed in a team sport you have to be able to work as if you are one combined mind; almost like a machine operating because of the sum of its parts if you will. Now, the season is not over, far from it in fact, and we never know what could change yet as it stands, the team is 5-2 and poised to not only make playoffs- but win the whole bracket. With only three wins always before clinching the berth they desire, the team now looks to continue working on their weaknesses and to build their trust in on another for those big moments.

Whether it was the victory on the road again Brentwood- the first in years- or their blowout victory versus Sachem East, Pat-Med has shown they have matured and prepared for this moment all off-season. Do not misunderstand the point: this is not the result of one year’s work, this is the culmination of three to four years of training, drilling, and building on each others skills to give Pat-Med the best basketball it can. As for who wins the title that is uncertain, what is though, is the work our guys have put in to be able to compete for it.

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Raiders’ Basketball: The Best Is Yet to Come