Written by Matthew Niksa
Gunn High School’s Student Executive Council (SEC) will be hosting the first ever intramural basketball tournament. The intramural basketball league will run from Feb. 25 to late early April, and all teams will advance to a playoff tournament at the end of the season. Games are played each Wednesday at the outdoor courts during lunch, with eight teams playing simultaneously on four half courts. Games will be scored on an honor system where each team keeps track of points.
Senior Class Vice President Victor Kao and Junior Class Vice President Cole McFaul created the idea of an intramural league. “I really love basketball, I’ve played my whole life, but this year I couldn’t play on the team because it was too much of a time commitment,” McFaul said. “I felt like I wanted to have somewhere to play where you didn’t have to dedicate a ton of time into something that is amazingly competitive. We just started it so guys could run around a little bit.”
McFaul was also surprised by the large turnout of Gunn students interested in playing in the league, and he was excited that students continued to sign up even after teams were created. “I’m really amazed about how many people signed up. I think we have a great mix of experienced, competitive players on Varsity and JV [basketball], but also players who don’t play a lot and are just getting out there [for fun].”
With eight teams having an average of eight players on each team, Kao hopes to have each team play as many games as possible. “We hope to play around six to eight games, depending on how many weeks we can fit in. After each team plays each other, we will have the playoffs, which will be just like the NBA. In the first round, seed one will play seed eight, seed two will play seed seven, seed three will play seed six, and seed four will play seed five. Tournament style.” Kao is optimistic that they will be able to host the league playoffs in the Titan Gym. “We hope to have the playoffs in the gym and get a few people to ref the games and make it a little more official than the usual lunch games,” Kao said.
Gunn junior Rohit Sampathi, co-captain of intramural team 6, believes the new league gives him the opportunity to have fun playing basketball. “I enjoy playing it, because it’s a great opportunity for me to play some friendly basketball with others. We get to choose part of our team, so its even more fun being able to play with some close friends,” he said. Sampathi feels that the league should consider adding more teams and choose a different day to play basketball. “Some teams have nine players, and just lunch time isn’t enough for everyone to get sufficient [playing] time. Also, sometimes teams or a lot of players don’t show up, so changing the day or somehow setting up a system to make sure teams show up would make the format much better,” he said.
Sampathi looks forward to captaining his team in the playoffs, and he appreciates the opportunity to meet new peers and build team chemistry. “I’ve met peers while playing intramurals. I’ve become friends with a couple freshmen on my team,” he said. “Playing with my team has definitely built chemistry, because we communicate and talk strategy a lot.”