Grinding Time

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By Shannon Duer

NYIT Men's Basketball

Photo Credit: Brian Ballweg

It has been a transition season for the NYIT men’s basketball team. As of February 10th, NYIT is 2-13 in the East Coast Conference with an overall record of 3-19 and are out of playoff contention.

Coach Isme has had a series of ups and downs as he takes on his first season as head coach for the Bears.Advice I would give to aspiring head coaches would be to adapt to uncontrollable changes,” said Coach Isme. “Your reaction to things that are out of your control will reflect on your team.”

The developing team has six freshmen: Kieran Hamilton (Undecided), Vasilis Magkos (Computer Science), Zach Moore (Computer Science), Justin Fackler (Computer Science), Jeffrey Hayden (Undecided), and Dan Nwalor (Accounting) and only five returning veterans from the year before.

“This was my first year being depended upon as the main scorer as well as the captain. Throughout my other years I was more of a supporting player, but I knew I was ready to step into a bigger role and it’s been fun accepting that challenge,” says Senior Captain Khalif Chaplin, the current leading scorer.

“As far as being the leading scorer, it wasn’t a goal I set but I’m always willing to do whatever for my team,” Chaplin humbly admits. “Being a senior and knowing that each game inches closer towards my last motivates me to stay as positive as I can, play hard, and to not focus on our record but more on setting a good example for all the guys coming back so they can learn from it and be better next year.”

The team faced challenges this year with injuries. Early in the season, the Bears lost their starting senior captain, Jon Feiler, due to a torn ACL. Feiler was last year’s All-ECC Honorable Mention as he averaged a season double-double with 11.4 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game.

“I try to stay as positive as I can and as loud as I can on the bench during games,” says Feiler. “My goals for next season are to get back to 100% so I can help the team win a championship and finish out my college career on top.”

“Jon’s injury has impacted us tremendously,” says Isme. “It’s hard to replace the heart and soul of your team. He’s the leader on the floor that we’ve been missing when it’s crunch time.”

The team’s second leading scorer, freshman Jeffrey Hayden, has also missed some time due to a hand injury. The rookie has received two “ECC Rookie of the Week” titles in his first year with the Bears.

On a positive note, the team has had a couple of impressive wins against Roberts Wesleyan College, who is currently ranked right above NYIT as # 11 in the conference. The Bears also defeated the College of Bridgeport, who is currently ranked #3 in the conference. Defeating Bridgeport shows what the Bears are capable of as the Bears look to build on these impressive wins for next season.

For more information on the Bears, log onto nyitbears.com and follow the Bears @nyitbears.

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