Freshman B.J. Askew races to recover the ball in the Jan. 8 game against Valley Christian, played at Sleep Train Arena.

Boys’ varsity basketball overcomes challenges of playing on NBA court

“It was crazy when I realized all the previous players and all the history that happened on the court that we were playing on,” freshman Jayce McCain said.

The boys’ varsity basketball team played at Sleep Train Arena, the home of the Sacramento Kings, on Jan. 8, defeating Valley Christian, 87-75.

The previous night the Kings had hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder and the NBA’s reigning MVP, Kevin Durant.

“Durant is one of my favorite players in the league,” McCain said. “It made me feel special, that I was playing on the same court as him.”

But the NBA arena presented problems for the boys when the game began.

“The court had us confused at first,” freshman B.J. Askew said. “But by the end of the first quarter we made our adjustments.”

Askew led the team with 19 points. Freshman Rick Barros III was second with 18 points, including a 3-pointer.

One reason for the double-digit win was the team’s rebounding and boxing out.

“At the beginning of the game, we lost our man while trying to box out on defense,” senior Skovran Cunningham said. “But by the end of the first quarter, we began to communicate. And that led to us finding a man to box out and securing the rebound.”

“Boxing out” is a basketball maneuver in which a player positions his body against an opponent, in an optimal space on the floor between the opponent and the basket, in order to secure a rebound.

The boys play next on Jan. 9 against Cristo Rey. The game will be held at Sports Court Fitness and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

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