With over 15 years of history underneath it’s belt, Hawken’s Intramural Basketball League (IBL) has grown into being a full fledge program that many of Hawken’s community members have taken part in on over the years. IBL is a form of recreational basketball that allows members of a community to get together and play ball without the stress of winning or losing.
The IBL’s history dates far back. According to Mr. Briesch, this program “has been going on for at least 34 years.” Science & physics teacher Mrs. Clark also adds that the program was begun by Dr. Bernstein, a longtime Hawken teacher.
Although no one knows the exact story of how IBL began, it was most likely started by a group of students who used to play basketball and wanted to continue the sport, but did not like the commitment.
IBL is a way for members of the community to get to know one another outside of the classroom. One of IBL’s co – faculty leaders Dr. Ialacci says that the main goal of IBL is to “Keep everyone in good physical shape, have healthy competition in basketball and most of all, to have fun.”
With a rec team like IBL, it gives many students a chance to enjoy the physical game of basketball without all of the rigor that comes with being committed to the main basketball program. Dr. Ialacci thinks that one of the main differences between the two teams is that “the men’s team actually knows how to play. We don’t have the same level of talent, but we have the same amount of heart and enthusiasm. We come together in this league to play the game and have fun.” Alongside Dr. Ialacci, other faculty leaders include Kelly Clark, math teacher Joel Rabe, and science teacher Brendan Daly.
Ms. Clark first joined the IBL crew, “12 years ago… I was usually the only female there.” Mrs. Clark has been a consistent faculty leader since Doc Bernstein left in 2002. With the collective work of Ms. Clark, Dr. Ialacci, Mr. Rabe, and Mr. Daly the program continues to last year after year. However, in order for IBL to be a success, there is a lot of prep work that comes from the student leaders that take part. This year, Hawken’s IBL program has two stand out seniors, Zachary Goodman ’14 and Scott Weinberger ’14.
Starting his actual basketball career here at Hawken School on the freshmen team, Zach Goodman traded the two hour practices five days a week to become a three year veteran and senior leader of IBL. Zach recalls joining the team by saying that, “In high school playing three sports was just too much time, but I still really missed playing the game, so I joined IBL.” Over the past three years, Zach has shown his commitment to this rec team and has been able to step into a leadership like role. One of the ways Zach and Scott try to get more members of the community involved with the program is “by joining social media, especially Twitter.” Through their Twitter (@HawkenIBL), Zach and Scott are able to update the community with upcoming games. Another way Zach says that they try to get the word out “is through word of mouth. We try to tell every guy that we see to come out and play with us”.
Every year a few girls come out to play, but they seldom stay after the first few games. This year, juniors Miranda Holizna ’15 and Bianca Medancic ’15 came out to play for the first few sessions. Mrs. Clark weighs in on the topic of the lack of girls by saying that, “It’s hard sometimes being the only female on the court. Depending on the group of boys, they won’t want to pass the ball to you all the time. In a sense, when you’re out there playing, and you’re the only female, you have to earn the boy’s respect a little bit” because females are the minority.
One of the most important parts of this program is to have fun. Zach states that, “It’s a way for everyone to channel their inner competitiveness. It’s really intense and really fun.” With his senior year coming to an end, he says that, “I’m going to miss playing basketball with my friends because we all really enjoy.” Thinking ahead to his collegiate career in IBL, he says that, “I absolutely plan on playing IBL in college not only as a way not to gain the freshman fifteen, but as a way to meet new people and to have fun playing basketball.”
With a great legacy behind its back, the Hawken Intramural Basketball League seems to have a bright future. Dr. Ialacci says that it’s important to have an IBL team because, “It’s a way you can enjoy the thrill of competition, even if you’re not as talented.”
Don’t forget to follow Hawken’s IBL Twitter account for information about practices: @HawkenIBL