Hammond Boys Basketball’s Varsity Golden Bears finished this season with an impressive overall record of 8-14.
The Varsity Golden Bears started the season with five back-to-back wins, including an overtime victory by a close score of 59-57 against Glenelg. Their momentum was stunned, however, following a tough loss two games later against Oakland Mills, but they were able to bounce back in the next game with a 53-47 win against Kent County.
January was a tough month for the Varsity Golden Bears, who suffered close losses in most games that month. The highlight and showcase of skill for them that month was their January 28th game against Concordia Prep, in which they won by an overwhelming score of 70-32.
Going into their March playoffs, the Varsity Golden Bears had lost the game before, but were still strongly carrying the momentum from a win against Centennial two games before by a score of 62-58. However, on Friday March 1st, they would drop their first playoff game against Wilde Lake 59-44.
The season had its ups and downs, but the consensus among the team was that the season was a success because they had fought through each game together.
Coach Michael Salapata commented saying “they made me proud daily, just with their tremendous work ethic and desire to be coached. They were a really good group of kids, and they were a pleasure to coach.”
He says the team’s greatest accomplishment in his opinion was “literally just coming in to work everyday, putting the time in, and just never giving up.”
Junior David Aodu commented, saying “I would say that the biggest accomplishment this year was really playing together as a team. I felt [that] this year we played more as a team than last year, and every game we played with effort no matter the result.”
Aodu also believes keeping up that effort, sometimes in lieu of the game score, was a big challenge for the team this season. “The most challenging part of the season was probably not letting the losses [affect our] next game, and not letting us get our heads down,” he shared.
Senior Captain Micah Henry shared a more personal and heartfelt accomplishment this season for him: “[My greatest accomplishment was] making it to 1,000 points over my high school career,” he said.
Micah is now committed to play basketball for St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City, MD, and hopes for a great furtherance of his basketball career with St. Mary’s and the Seahawks.
While Henry holds high hopes for his college season, Aodu and the rest of the non-senior Varsity team members share the same aspiration for the Varsity Golden Bears’ next season at Hammond.
“Next year I am looking forward to seeing the next guys from JV come up, [to work] with them over the summer, and having more time to practice,” Aodu shared.
Coach Sal shares the same sentiment, as he says “I’m very happy with the program we have, and the transition is becoming [more] seamless as the years go by. So, the JV kids know what to expect when they get to Varsity, and the Varsity returners we have know exactly what to expect, so as the kids come up, they kinda take them under their wings, so it’s a pretty smooth process right now.”
Coach Sal and the rest of the Varsity Golden Bears team are excited for their next season.