Posted by: Staff | 12.16.2008

Sharpshooter

SEBBY SMITH ’11

 

Last year, the freshman basketball team held an impressive record of 11-3 . Coaches did not expect the thirds team to be very competitive against the other skilled schools they faced because the team was young, and only had a few players. But the freshman team went far above all expectations, defeating schools with twice as many athletes to choose from. Jake Libassi was a large contributor to the success, leading the ’07-’08 team with 8.1 points per game.

jake-libassi

Basketball is Jake’s favorite sport, he works hard at it and always enjoys playing the game. Unfortunately, Jake is not very tall…at 15 years old Jake is 5’8”. In comparison, the average height of NBA players is 6’7” and there have only been six players under 5’10” in NBA history to play 2 full seasons. His height is a detriment to his inside shooting because defenders can easily block his shot, but it has forced him to make outside shooting one of his most prestigious assets. Jake practices daily after his classes at school and even attends most open gyms held at Beaver during the weekend.

Libassi contributes his excellent shooting accuracy to his consistent mechanics. While Jake was shooting he said, “It doesn’t matter if I’m in a game or practicing, when I shoot it’s always the same movement.” Jake also works on his speed and agility, which help him blaze by defenders to get into a good shooting position.

This year, Jake’s main goal is to pass the ball more often during games. He chose this goal because he took the most shots on the team last year and wants to help his teammates score more. Jake would like to perfect his free-throws as well. Last year he struggled at the line, which other teams noticed and took advantage of. Opponents would foul Jake to keep him from shooting his dangerous 3-pointers. Jake noticed his pitfall and has been working to fix his weakness. During his daily practices he shoots free-throws for five minutes. “I’ve been improving little by little, but usually it depends on the day. Sometimes I sink everything, other days I cant make one [shot].”

Jake is hoping to make the Junior Varsity team this year, which will be much more competitive because of a new coaching. For the first time Beaver will cut players and all seniors will not automatically make the varsity team. This means the JV team will have some older talent which could keep Jake from making the team. The only thing he can do to better his chances of making the team is practice. Above all, Jake hopes to have fun in the following season, after all, that’s why he started playing the sport in the first place!

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