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Exclusive Interview with TABC’s Three-Sport Star, Ayden Gurin

Yeshiva League Pass had the privilege to sit down with TABC star Ayden Gurin for an incredibly insightful interview!


Akiva Poppers (AP): You play three sports–basketball, baseball, and tennis. How did you get into playing each of them? How do you manage playing three at one time?


Ayden Gurin (AG): I've been playing tennis and baseball since I was little. When I was young, I used to have baseball catches with my dad and brothers. I went to a tennis camp for several summers. I wasn’t a big basketball guy when I was young, but it grew on me as I started to get older. I was a good shooter in middle school, but I wasn’t tall. I hit a major growth spurt around 10th grade, and that obviously helped me become a better and more impactful player.


Managing three sports is very hard. It’s most challenging when I find myself in a position where I have to pick between sports, especially deciding which practices to go to if there’s a conflict. This year, TABC Athletic Director Oren Glickman did a really good job at making my schedule as easy as possible by stacking practices. Often, I would have basketball practice from 6:15 to 7:45, and then I’d head over to the other gym for baseball practice from 7:45 to 9:15. This year I prioritized basketball, although there are some non-basketball elements involved in practices, like running–which is important to the team, but not fun–whereas in baseball practice, I'm either pitching or fielding, both of which I love doing.


TABC Star Ayden Gurin has made his mark on the Yeshiva League in three sports. (photo credit: @eidanhornphotography on IG/@macslive)

AP: Is there a reason why you prioritized basketball this season despite it not being your favorite sport?


AG: At the beginning of the season, Coach Oz told Eitan Sulemanoff and myself that as key senior players, we were the leaders of the team. I therefore knew that I had to be there for every practice, and that if I prioritized baseball, the team wouldn't think of me as committed. Also, basketball practices are more important to be at on a team-level. If one practice Oz decides to teach five new plays, and you miss that, he's not going to teach you the plays next practice and make the other 13 guys sit around and watch. However, as a result of prioritizing basketball, it was very hard for me to build up my arm this season, because I didn't want to hurt my arm right before a game. I made rules for myself to ensure there was enough rest for my arm when there was a basketball game coming up.


Shoutout Coach Oz and all my teammates in all three sports!



AP: How much is prioritizing basketball hurting your baseball ceiling?


AG: Right now I’m sitting high 70s (MPH), although I've hit 80. If I focused more on baseball, and started to lift, I think I could get to the mid-to-high 80s.



AP: Presumably, your goal is to play collegiately somewhere. What do you see as your biggest weakness preventing you from attaining that?


AG: I want to play basketball collegiately. My biggest weakness is on the defensive side. I have to decide if I want to be someone who primarily defends against guards or against bigs. If I want to defend guards in college, I need to get quicker. I am not quick enough right now to defend collegiate-level guards. If I want to defend bigs, I will need to put on a lot of muscle. As I am right now, any collegiate big would completely body me up and kill me in the paint. I also think that the work I put in to improve my defensive game will help me offensively. I want to develop a post game and become a threat both inside and out.



AP: Outside of sports, what do you consider to be your biggest achievement?


AG: I went on NCSY Kollel my post-10th grade summer. I was able to focus on my personal growth. In just six weeks, it changed my entire perspective on life. It also made me a much better ball player, because I was able to look at sports differently.



AP: Who did you enjoy playing against the most in the Yeshiva League?


AG: Ramaz. First of all, their Coach Scott Ferguson is awesome. Also, our two games against them were the best games I had. In those two games I had a combined 32 points on efficient shooting. I also want to shoutout Nate Sugar! He’s a great shooter and he’s got a sweet last name. We went into the first game having not watched film on Ramaz and he just goes out and starts pulling it from several feet behind the line. He’s not 6’5” like me, but he's got great form. He’s only a junior, too. Watch out for Ramaz next season. Everyone thinks TABC is going to be the team to beat, but Ramaz is going to be very, very good.



AP: What are your plans for next year?


AG: I'm going to be attending Reishit. It might be for one year, but my plan for now is to stay there for two years. Who knows what will happen afterwards. A dream of mine for a while has been to play basketball for YU. I'm hopefully going to be training with Tamir Goodman on Fridays. Reishit also has a lot of great opportunities with their indoor court and gym. Maybe I will be able to make a Zevi Samet-esque schedule and wake up before davening to work out or train. I want to work hard to become the best version of myself I can be, and see how far I can go.


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