Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team Prepares for New Season


Kim Hall

Boys’ Varsity players huddle during game against Loyola

Friends Seminary upperclassmen know what it’s like to walk into the gym – nicknamed “The Nest” by students – when it is packed for a basketball game. Before the pandemic, it was tradition for students to support the team by cheering on their friends as they defeated ACIS rivals. Now, it has been almost two years since students were able to cheer for the Owls on their home court, and there is still uncertainty surrounding the team’s season this year. 

In the 2019-2020 season, the Owls defeated Rye Country Day School to win Division C of the NYSAIS championship (a tournament of the best teams in the state), in large part due to the leadership of Evan Glatzer ’21, Marcus Shaw ’21, and Jack Nelson ’21. Coming off their victory, the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team hoped to pursue an ACIS championship in their next season during the 2020-21 school year. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, last year’s season was canceled before it even started, and basketball players were forced to participate in limited practices with no possibility of games or scrimmages. 

Athletic Director David Lieber has served as the varsity basketball coach for more than 30 years. The veteran coach reflected on last season’s difficulties. 

“There was always hope [for a season] last year, but nobody knows how COVID will develop,” said Lieber.

Optimism for the season is more reasonable this year as the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team played a whole season wearing masks with no hiccups in the fall. As long as the pandemic does not significantly worsen, the Boys’ Varsity team will play a full season against ACIS and NYSAIS opponents.

While Lieber was optimistic about the season, he understood that it was out of his control. 

“Whether or not we are going to play, that is not the athletic director’s decision. It is the heads of schools, not me or my colleagues,” said Lieber. 

At this point, there is a lot of hope for a successful and safe season. Recently, it was announced by Head of School Bo Lauder that parents of athletes will be allowed to attend home games, so for the first time in almost two years, the Nest will be filled with supporting families and students. 

This year, the team will be led by three-year varsity players Graham Hall ’22, James Tart ’22, and Ethan Judlowe ’22. They have high hopes for the future of the Boys’ Varsity team. 

“I think the team can be special this year,” Judlowe said. “Our group has worked hard over the last year to get to know each other, build chemistry, and gain some experience playing together.”

 Despite the lost season last year, the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team has not lost its spirit nor its drive for success. With a solid mix of seniors and juniors, the team looks to have a safe and successful season. 

“We are all looking forward to getting back into the gym everyday, working with Coach Lieber, and competing once again,” said Judlowe.