Boys Varsity Basketball: Season Preview

Dan Clarke
St. Luke’s Boys Varsity Basketball has excelled the last two years culminating in back-to-back FAA and New England titles and an overall record of 49-2 during that period.

That is certainly a hard act to follow but new head coach Tony Newsom and his staff are looking to continue the success while putting their own stamp on the program: “Drew Gladstone and his staff did an outstanding job so I’m just looking to continue to build on the success the program has had. Things have obviously been going well so I don’t want to change too much as I believe if something isn’t broken, then you don’t need to fix it.”

As well as the departure of Gladstone, who moved on to become the assistant basketball coach at Indiana University, the team graduated some key players in Walter Whyte ‘17 (Boston University) and Joel Boyce ‘17 (Coppin State University). Despite these changes, Newsom is confident his squad can challenge again this season: “I have been extremely impressed with the upperclassmen and the way they have gone about their business. They have been part of a lot of winning here but they have been very open to being coached by the new staff. The goal is always to get better as the season goes on but at the end of the year we want to win a league championship and go to the New England tournament and end up with a championship there too.”

This year’s team will be captained by Jonas Harper ‘18 and Jackson Ryan ‘18. Newsom is expecting these players to drive the team forward on the court: “We want our players on the floor to have a voice and I think those two young men, in particular, have done a great job. We have other seniors too and I demand the same thing from them. They have all impressed me so far.”

In terms of the teams style of play, Newsom doesn’t see much changing and he believes he has a number of weapons at his disposal to help offensively: “We have a team that shares the ball extremely well so I think when making that extra pass we are a very good team. I like the team to play fast and be unselfish. We have a lot of players who, on any given night, could be the leading scorer and, the way we share the ball, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a different guy every other night.”

With success comes expectation but Newsom is focused on the team doing the little things to improve throughout the season: “We haven’t really talked too much about titles as we are focussed on the here and now. We are talking about getting better every day and I think if this team continues to improve every day we will be in the picture later in the season.”

Boys Varsity Basketball has enjoyed victories in its two scrimmages against Trinity Pawling School (64-60) and Sacred Heart High School (74-67).

Next Up: The regular season gets underway at The Zero Gravity Tournament where the team will face The Millbrook School on Friday, December 1 and The Brooks School on Saturday, December 2.
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.