MSIT Boys Basketball have come out of the gates blazing winning six out of the first seven contests, only losing to 1st place Curtis High School. I sat down with Tech Junior Denis Shameti to find out a little bit about why he joined basketball and what he thinks about the season so far.
Adam Chrysostomou: So let’s start from the beginning. What got you into basketball?
Denis Shameti: Well I started kind of late. I didn’t start playing basketball until the 7th grade when one of my friends asked me to play for his team in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). I was unsure at first because I didn’t play basketball before that, but I decided to give it a shot. I was tall so it wasn’t long before I got the hang of it.
AC: Do you play any other sports?
DS: Yea, I love to play sports. I love playing soccer with my friends for fun. Also, during freshman year, I played baseball for a travel team.
AC: Coming into tech, were you determined to play for MSIT?
DS: Yea, it was one of the major things I focused on freshman year. Besides for my grades, basketball was my top priority, and I wouldn’t have been satisfied if I didn’t make the team. I was cut from the team freshman year, but that only made me work harder. I tried out again sophomore year made Junior Varsity, and I’ve been on the team ever since.
AC: Do you look to play basketball in the future?
DS: Definitely. I don’t know if I can make it and play Division 1, but I definitely want to play Division 2 or 3
AC: How does it feel playing on a team primarily dominated by McKee players?
DS: There are two sides to that story. On the one hand, it kind of sucks because on a Tech only team, I probably would’ve started and contributed a lot more than I do now. On the other hand, though, they’re all really good kids and fun to be around. They are also amazing basketball players.
AC: What are your thoughts on the fact that there are no tech seniors on the team, only juniors?
DS: I’m not sure there were any Tech seniors that were good enough, or deserved to be on varsity. Over the years there haven’t been that many kids from this year’s senior class on the team to begin with, so it would be hard for them to make it during their senior year. Even if they did make it, they probably wouldn’t even play. The team mostly consists of McKee seniors who are all really good ball players. Everyone on the team earned their spot.
AC: Who is your inspiration?
DS: Someone I definitely look up to is Alban Hysa. He graduated last year and was on the team since sophomore year. We have a lot of similarities in the way that we play ball and in life. We are both shooters who can camp out on the three-point line. We are both Albanian, and we are both Brooklyn-born. Now that he graduated, I wear his jersey number, and hope to make him proud.
AC: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone?
DS: Yea, I definitely want to shout out the team and coach Donohue but more importantly my Tech boys Jake and Christian. Thanks for being my boys, I know you guys always have my back on and off the court.
I’d like to thank Denis for taking time out of his busy day to talk to me about the season and the team. MSIT looks to compete for the top spot on the island, as they are second place looking to edge out Curtis. Good luck with the rest of the season boys.