Boys’ basketball team forged team chemistry in sweltering summer practices

November 16, 2023 — by Bill Huang and Bryan Zhao
Photo by Bryan Zhao
Sophomore Nathan Liu goes for a layup as both junior Daniel Jadali and senior Bryan Wang tail after him during practice.
Having played in many games and tournaments over the summer, the varsity team feels ready for Coach Davey’s second season back.

Head Coach: Mike Davey

Last year’s record: 6-6

Recap: Last year, the boys’ varsity team entered the A-League for the first time in many years. Despite facing many challenging opponents, the team finished with a record of 6-6. As a result of losing six key seniors, however, the team dropped to the B-league this year.

Key Matchups: Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Mountain View

Star Players: senior Bryan Wang (shooting guard), senior Kali Duvvuri (power forward)

Key losses to graduation: Mason Wang, Mateusz Palunsinki, Julian Berkowitz-Sklar, Nick Tjaden, Niveydh Pai, Mayson Yu, Lucas Dennis

League: Santa Clara Valley – El Camino Division

Prognosis: The team is being led this year by their new starters: point guard Caleb Yu, shooting guard Bryan Wang, small forward Daniel Jadali, power forward Kali Duvvuri, and center Raghav Chakravarthi. Over the summer, they played in the Mountain View High School summer league and went to a weekend-long tournament at St. Mary’s College. Jadali and Wang are highly experienced guards, put alongside Duvvuri and Chakravarthi, who are the post players. With their hard work throughout the summer, they are aiming to shoot high this season.

Over the summer, the  team had a strict practice schedule — six days a week, one hour of weightlifting and two hours of open gym. During their tournament, coach Mike Davey gave all players playing time to help everyone gain some experience and develop chemistry with each other. 

“Coach [Davey] subbed in everyone to see who could do what and because of that, everyone that may not play [much] for the regular season could show [their skills],” junior shooting guard Steven Ning said. “Also, it was fun being in the dormitory as a team.”

Since the tournament in June and July, the team has taken only two weeks off. In August, they resumed open gym and weight lifting. By maximizing the amount of time they put into basketball after the break from mid-July to August, they want to neutralize the rust following the break and run at peak efficiency.

“On top of practices, we cut into our individual time to refine personal skill sets,” sophomore point guard Nathan Liu said. “In a regular week, we spend time practicing with the team, but with weightlifting and practicing on my own, I often spend 20 hours a week on basketball.”

Beyond their more rigorous training routine, the team has worked on strengthening the connection between each player. The summer tournaments and daily practices have welded the team together, Ning said. 

“With a strong team comes strong relationships,” senior shooting guard Bryan Wang said. “Our team has crazy chemistry, and even outside of basketball, we all love spending time with each other and have gotten really close.” 

Although the team initially struggled with communication on and off the courts in the beginning, Wang said that the summer tournament has already resolved many of these issues. Wang hopes to win CCS finals and looks to make a big step for Saratoga Basketball. 

“Even though [winning CCS] previously has not been done, with our unique chemistry and dedication, it is most definitely not out of reach,” Wang said.

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