The U16 basketball team, with co-coaches Mike Ruscitti and Peter Sarellas, had an incredible regular season with an 8-0 record. Mr. Ruscitti, who has been coaching at the school for the past eight years, can’t remember going undefeated. So, what has made this team work so well together?
“They play to their strengths, realize what they do well and tend to take advantage of those situations,” said Mr. Ruscitti. “We don’t have guys doing stuff that’s out of their skill level.”
The team, made up of students in Grade 10, with some boys in Grade 9, has really gelled.
“We have some good leadership from the Grade 10s and we also have new Grade 9s who have come in and filled in some of the gaps from the previous year,” said Mr. Ruscitti. “This is a very coachable team and they try to improve every game.”
Mr. Ruscitti has enjoyed coaching this team, record aside.
“They’ve been a really fun group to coach,” he said. “And it’s not just because they win. The guys are really welcoming and enjoy each other’s company, whether someone is a starter or the last kid off the bench.”
Grade 9 student Tejas Bawa is new to the team and is feeling very confident going into the playoffs.
“We work really hard in practice and we’ve improved a lot over the course of the season,” he said. “We’re practicing about four times a week and we have really good chemistry. We’ve grown a lot closer as a team.”
Team “veteran” Felix Brink, Grade 10, loves the way this team clicks.
“It feels really great to be on this team,” said Felix. “It’s fun to have a group of guys who work hard every day, but also like to have fun. When it comes to game time, everyone is focused and ready to give it their all.”
And what does Felix think makes this team unique?
“I think it’s the positive energy that we get off the bench, the chanting we do, our defense and we talk a lot,” said Felix. “Plus, the coaches do a lot to make sure that everyone knows their role on the team and they keep everyone in line in a positive way.”
Royal St. George's College is an independent school for boys located in The Annex neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school admits boys from Grades 3 through 12. Our mission is to challenge and inspire each of our students to become the best version of himself.