The Hoop: The Official Newsletter of Santa Monica YMCA Youth Basketball, Volume 21, Issue 15




Bantam All-Stars celebrate after a close win on All-Star Saturday recently.

The Fall 2017 youth basketball season has come to an end, with the post-season awards banquets behind us.

If you did not attend, your awards are in the gym office, available when the office door is open, and certainly; on game days beginning January 13. Trophies are arranged in a very conspicuous place, picture packages are in a box in the back of the office on the floor, arranged by color, and certificates are arranged in alphabetical order in a pile between the microwave and the record player.

Winter League teams have been selected and have already begun practicing

Before the awards were handed out, the league celebrated its players with the season all-star games in all divisions. Unfortunately, due to poor all-star game turnout again this season, some of the all-star games are being eliminated for the next season at least.

The highlights of the games recently played included two interleague challenge games.

— Guy Sikora’s layup a short time into a sudden death second overtime period lifted the Bantam “A” stars to a win over the Minor “C” team 12-10.  Aayan Lakhani and Dagmawi Ayele each scored in the fourth quarter to bring the Bantams back from down four points midway through the final period. Tavio Esposito-Portillo led the Minors.

— The Major “C” stars shot 75 percent in the first half and parlayed impressive defense as they totally overwhelmed the Minor “A” team 51-19. It was 19-0 after one quarter and 37-6 by half time against a dreary gaggle of Minors. To make matters more humiliating, the Majors did it using just five oplayers the entire game, and three of them, Nathan Bekele (16 and 16 rebounds), Jesse Lister (12 and 10) and Justin Tun (10 with 4 assists and 4 steals), scored in double figures, with two garnering a double-double.

Kayvon Abadi had a career high 17 rebounds to go with 8 points for the big leaguers. Bruno Picazo added 5.

— In other games: The Rookie “B” game went to the darks over the lights 22-13, the Rookie “A” lights beat the darks 10-6, and the Bantam “B” darks topped the lights 21-12.

The Minor “B” darks got 17 from Joey Little and 11 from Jacob Burrows, who hit 5 three pointers between them in holding off the lights 34-29. Dalton White led the Lights with 11.

The Major “B” darks pounded the lights 32-16 as Griffinn Pine led the way with 16 and Josh Kaplan had 15 rebounds.

In the feature game, the Major “A” lights defeated the darks 36-17. Nasir Luna tossed in 17 in the win. Dash Decker had 11 points; Gaspar Antal 14 rebounds in the loss.

— In an important final game, the Bantam Wildcats won their first and only game of the season, downing a team of Bantam All-Stars 15-6, behind an 8-point effort from Grey Broderick.


The following players in each division had perfect attendance records, including attending the parent’s games and all-star game.

Rookie League:  Jenson Montague, Samantha Juarez, Dominic Drew, Luca Anderson.

Bantam League:  Sophia Levi, Toghrul Aghayev.

Minor League:  Dalton White, Jared Oliver.

Major League:  Cy Backen.


The League Director thanks his assistants Barry and MJ for all of their hard work in making the league run well. Thanks also to the coaches, assistants, helpers, team parents, families, friends, fans and players, as well as the YMCA staff and administration.

We wish you a prosperous, peaceful, productive and very Happy New Year–2018.






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