Trusting his players is mantra for Science coach
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By Raphael Sugarman
BasSie continued to play basketball at Science and at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
It was during his sophomore year at Haverford that a friend implored the 6-foot-4 inch BasSie to play middle-blocker for one game on the college’s volleyball team. The small, liberal arts school was one player short of the minimum six required on the court for a game.
“I didn’t even get a chance to play in a practice; my first experience was in a game,” BasSie recalled. “I had some exciting plays, but I was basically clueless.”
BasSie was playing on Haverford’s basketball team, but its season was over. So he decided he had nothing to lose by attending another volleyball practice. “I liked it enough to keep going and eventually the game grew on me,” said BasSie, who played both volleyball and basketball for the next three seasons.
After graduation, Bronx Science offered him a job coaching the girls’ junior varsity volleyball team and he quickly rose through the ranks as the girls and boys’ varsity coaching spots became available.
Despite his success, BasSie is humbled both by the dynamics of the sport he coaches and what he said he still needs to learn as a coach.
“I think that potential for emotions and momentum to affect the outcome of a match is unparalleled in volleyball because every rally has a winner and a loser,” said BasSie.
The young coach said he has just “scratched the surface in terms of learning the game.”
“I have a good sense of game strategy, but I want to improve in terms of teaching advanced skills and mechanics and getting the most out of my players.”
In the meantime, the Wolverines don’t seem to be complaining.
“I’ll bet he’s the best coach in the city,” gushed senior Soo Chan An. “For him, it’s about more than just playing well in the game. It’s about playing well as a team.”
Sophomore Nate Chin said that BasSie, “helps us out, but never gets angry at us.”
“He is there to help us when we need it, but he gives us our space.”