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Senior captain discusses playoff potential

The campus  boys varsity basketball team was not off to a hot start at the beginning of the season. Going two for eight in the first part of the season, the varsity team is bouncing back with a ten-game winning streak. Coming off two huge wins against league opponent Laton and non-league opponent Riverdale, the Eagles take on another league opponent, Jan. 25.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

In his second year of varsity basketball, senior Suky Cheema is currently helping lead the Eagles on a ten-game winning streak.

The Eagles are hoping to keep their hot winning streak alive against the Buffalo of Alpaugh. I was able to sit and chat with co-captain of the team senior Suky Cheema, ‘19. Cheema and I discussed the team’s winning run, potential playoff hopes and personal player goals for this season.

“Personally I’ve been working on more of my leadership skills”, Cheema said. “We’ve got a lot more talent surrounding this year with freshman coming up with Orion [Tomlinson, ’22] and Tyus [Parish-Tillman, ’22]  and being a leader being there for them as a role model is my goal this season. I feel like if I set the tone then others will follow and that’s the same with Brandon Brogan being co-captain. If we set the tone then others will follow.”

Tyus Parrish-TilmanOrion Tomlinson and sophomore Carston Saelzler make up three of the five starters on the court. Cheema explained how fun it is for him to watch the young guys show their playstyle and maturity at a young age.

In the following podcast, Richie Cortez discusses Eagle basketball with senior Suky Cheema.

“They’re good, that’s as much as I can say,” Cheema said. “Orion, Tyus and Carston: Carston has improved so much in the last year or so and it’s been cool to see his progression because last year he came in (as a freshman) and he was going to play soccer and we eventually convinced him. He had rough stretches and the San Diego trip this year really helped him get acclimated with all the talent surrounding him.

“Same with Tyus and Orion, they’re both teammates on their AAU team,” Cheema continued. “They’ve been together forever they are just plug-in play guys. You can plug them in anywhere they’ll play any position you want them to because they’re just that good.”

Lindsay Weimer | The Feather Online

Cheema hits a three-point shot against the Summit Charter Bears, Jan. 10. Last season, Cheema played point guard, but with the arrival of Tomlinson, he now competes at forward.

However, no team is perfect. Cheema discusses what he thinks the campus team can work on to become the best they can be.

“One of our assistant coaches, Coach Saelzler, talks about what we can work on all the time all the time: pace and purpose. We like to get up and run, to get the ball up and score as many points as we can, but at the same time we have to be disciplined enough to look at the defense and see who’s back, can we take it or pull it back and take a good shot.’’

Cheema and I discussed many topics involving the team’s potential playoff run. If students want to listen to the full interview, check out The Feather Online’s SoundCloud feed. Cortez has interviewed a host of other Eagle student athletes as well.

For more of Cortez’s interviews check out Richie Cortez discusses Bekah Micu’s return from injury and Richie Cortez discusses FC soccer with senior Jacob Scully.

Richie Cortez can be reached via Twitter @richie_cortez9 and via email.

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