Trusting his players is mantra for Science coach
By Raphael Sugarman
If he weren’t sitting on the Bronx Science bench alongside a player from his team, it would have been nearly impossible to identify Jeremy BasSie as the coach of the school’s volleyball team.
In a recent match at Horace Mann, BasSie was dressed in a navy business suit and a silky, emerald tie. He looked like a young lawyer or Wall Streeter, attending the game to see his son play.
More telling than his attire, even, was his demeanor. BasSie barely budged during the course of the match, moving only the pen in his right hand to take notes on the minutia of the game.
BasSie did not holler instructions or admonishments at his players, did not applaud their slickest spikes, nor look to the heavens when they botched a play. He didn’t appear self-satisfied when his powerful Wolverines built a sizable lead or squirm in his seat when the scrappy Lions narrowed it.
“It’s not my nature to be animated,” said BasSie, 27, who has lived in Riverdale since he was 2-years-old. “I try and get them to improve every day in practice, but once the game begins, I try not to over-manage. I couldn’t always be up and hollering. That wouldn’t be my style.”
BasSie’s laidback technique seems to be paying dividends.
Since taking over the boys’ varsity team six years ago, Science’s league record in Public School Athletic League League (PSAL) games is 55-3. The team was also the runner-up to Cordozo in the city championship game in 2010.
Science’s girls’ volleyball team, which has also been coached by BasSie for the past four years, has been virtually as successful, with a PSAL league record of 39-9.
To say that BasSie didn’t grow up with dreams of volleyball glory is an understatement. Attending PS 24 and eventually Bronx Science, he played youth soccer, basketball and Little League baseball.
“My dad coached me for three years in Little League,” BasSie said of his father Stan, who he credits with teaching him how to “play smart.”
“The father and son’s coaching style is not dissimilar,” said BasSie. “I know he was not a yeller.”