ISB Basketball team plays first ever games!
by Alex Pierrot
And also suffers its first two defeats. But that is not the main thing to remember from this event. This was history in the making. Never before had there been any recognised and official sports team at ISB, let alone a basketball one. The fact that not only one but two games were able to be played on the rainy Friday the 16th is a great achievement in itself. This paves the way for future teams of any sport to be developed within the ISB, and of course now opens the door for this brand new basketball team to compete in more matches and possibly join a league as well.
But let’s get back to the most pressing info. We set off from school at around 10:30, in the hope of reaching the International School of Hamburg, our first adversaries, with enough time to get some decent preparation time fitted in. Although the part that came by car was there more than early enough, it was a different story for the train takers; in the end, only about 10 minutes were available to train before the first game.
The brand new kits looked resplendent and credit has to go the kit makers as well as the flocking company for making such a good-looking jersey. With the whole team looking snazzy, the first game vs. ISH Varsity was ready to begin. We started off well, with Daniel McIntosh winning the tip-off and passing the ball to Chris Buldain for an easy lay-up and two points. 30 seconds later, ISB was up 6-2. However, what happened from then onwards was nothing short of terrible. ISH quickly got the upper hand on the game and dominated the match from there on in. The lack of experience from our team was evident. For many of us, in fact everyone apart from Chris and Dawei Zhu, this was our first time playing a real game of basketball, with referees and a buzzer adding a whole new dimension to our experience. Despite none of us wanting to admit our nervousness, the way we played betrayed our core feelings: decisions were reached, unnecessary fouls were committed etc… In the end, this all added up to a very painful defeat: 91-28. There were much too many errors in our game, especially the act of ‘reaching’ which led to many free throws for the opposition to easily convert.
A strong talk was needed to lift our spirits up again. It was delivered by our extremely motivating coach, Terryl Woolery, and supported by his new assistant, Julia Helbich. We had hardly displayed any of the characteristics he had been drumming into our heads during the weeks before the game. Fight. Communication. Togetherness. We would have to dramatically improve for the next game, to be played against a mix of the Varsity team already played and members of the Junior Varsity, basically their B team.
It took a long time coming, but it did arrive in the end. In the 3rd quarter in fact. Down by 12 points at half-time, we resurfaced from the water and produced a fighting and much more confident display, to end up with just 4 points difference before the final quarter, which promised to be incredibly tense. The spectators were not disappointed. The last part of the game was end to end play, with both teams reacting immediately to the other one scoring. However, in the end only one team could win. That team was, once again, ISH. But the final difference of 4 points showed the fighting spirit of our team which was finally present in the end. With slightly more care and less hecticness in the last few minutes – this was due to the exhausting nature of the end of the game – we could have even won this game. If only we had played like this from the start, there is not much doubt that we could have obtained a much more satisfactory result than 50-46.
The experience on the other hand, was very enjoyable on the whole and is sure to stay engraved in all of our memories for some time to come. The biggest congratulations go to our main playmaker and scorer Chris Buldain, who managed to score 51 of our 78 points over both games. Next time can only be better, especially if we recuperate one of our other key players, Lars Keeley, who could unfortunately not be present at the event, and Laurynas does not suffer pains in his legs any longer. The main achievement on our side was that everybody managed to score at least once, and with improvement we should be able to play much better next time around!
The ISB team was: Chris Buldain, Aakash Som, Milan Arau, Daniel McIntosh, Dawei Zhu, Stanley Pushparaj, Joshua Harkmans, Laurynas Arminas and Alex Pierrot.
Great thanks go to the International School of Hamburg for welcoming and organising this game for us, and we are greatly looking forward to welcoming them sometime during February. Thank you also to our two awesome coaches Terryl and Julia for all of their help during this first term and making this whole team and experience even possible!
Enjoy some more pictures of the game below, courtesy of Mrs. Keeley: