For the Hillel Academy boys varsity team, the season hasn’t gotten off to the start it envisioned.
In the team’s fourth year of play, it’s currently 0-5 in the Greater Pittsburgh Independent Basketball League and 0-6 overall.
However, the team has had to battle several obstacles this season. It returned just one player from last season, Josef Edelman. The young squad also has lacked practice time. Since the season started, the team has practiced just once. They currently don’t have a gym, fourth-year Head Coach Lenny Plotkin said.
“It’s been a rough year all around,” he said. “We’re returning only him (Edelman), we’ve had a tough time finding a place to play. We’re trying to schedule as many games as possible, because that’s the only chance we get to play.”
Hillel recently returned from the Cooper Invitational in Memphis, Tenn., where it went 0-4 in the tournament, but Edelman was named to the all-tournament team.
Despite the lack of practice, the Hillel players did build a bond during the 15-hour drive to Memphis, and the 14-hour drive back to Pittsburgh.
“That was quite a trip,” Plotkin said. “It was a really bonding experience for the guys. We spent over a day back and forth in the car.”
Drive time aside, Plotkin said the kids had a great time.
“They were treated royally, they had a really wonderful time.”
The team returns home to play the Pittsburgh Projects in GPIBL action on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. in the Colfax gym.
“I’m hoping by the end of the year we can put a little more together,” Plotkin said. “In the past, we’ve been able to do pretty well.”
(Mike Zoller can be reached at email@example.com.)