Last season, the DRS Wildcats were widely considered to be not only the top team in the eastern conference, but they also earned enough respect to be in the conversation for the top tier of the entire league. Even though their season ended earlier than anticipated, the Wildcats are expected to be a promising candidate to be competing for a championship this season. Senior Isaac Solomon will lead the way as he has proven to be a consistent scorer who racks up the tallies on the scoresheet. Guards Steven Olshin and Ari Saffra will be tasked to complement Solomon’s scoring, by providing some buckets of their own. The Wildcats play in one of the greatest atmospheres in the yeshiva league at the DRS Greenhouse and come playoff time expect it to be booming.
The Magen David Warriors have been a staple for yeshiva league success and this season will be no different. Last year’s junior varsity team was nearly unstoppable until they took a loss in the championship, but now that they are on the varsity level it is their chance to make their mark. The star of Magen David will be senior center Asher Melamed, who is unarguably the best big man in the yeshiva league, but he will need assistance from his guards to feed him in the post and score from beyond the arc. If all goes as planned, the Warriors will have a long and successful season.
This time next year the storyline for the Flatbush Falcons will be headlined by having basketball mastermind, coach Ryan Coleman, travel cross-country to take over the reins in Brooklyn, but there is still an entire season until then. This year the Falcons will be led by underclassmen Ronnie Chaaya who is a superstar in the making and will be the Falcons main facilitator on offense this season. Along with Chaaya, several of the Flatbush players worked together this offseason in Deal, NJ to not only improve their personal skills, but their teammate chemistry, which will be useful as they get deeper into their schedule.
It has been nine years since the North Shore Stars last won a yeshiva league Championship, but they are the dark horse candidate to win it all this season. Junior Jordan Zarka was a standout on the junior varsity level and was a prime contributor to their championship run last season. This year Zarka will team up with seniors David Orbach and Ben Fallack. If the Stars can play together as a team, a championship could potentially be in store.
The YDE Thunder and Waterbury Wolfpack have become one of the most unsung rivalries in yeshiva league basketball over the past few seasons. Last year both of their regular season matchups went down to the wire, but the excitement did not end there, as they faced off in the first round of the playoffs with the Thunder being the victor by only three points. Unfortunately for the Thunder they are now without last year's league-leading scorer, Isaac Tawil, but YDE breeds scorers so there will definitely be multiple players that will fill his shoes. The Wolfpack will be led by Moshe Weiner and Hudi Kalish who have plenty of experience playing on the varsity level. Both the Thunder and Wolfpack have a great chance of making the playoffs.
The Magen Abraham Kings and HAFTR Hawks are two teams that will be powered by underclassmen success this season, potentially making surprise playoff runs. Last season, the Kings made their first playoff appearance in school history and made a nice push in the opening round against Magen David, but unfortunately did not walk away with the victory. This year Junior Albert Swaid will be leading the way for the Kings as they hope to build on last year’s success. The HAFTR Hawks have arguably the top underclassmen, Junior guard Kevin Levy, who not only showed out in the regular season, but also was instrumental in the Hawks tier three Sarachek push. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Levy will be sidelined until midseason with a shoulder injury, but Coach Joey Hoenig will definitely have a gameplan to guide the Hawks to success.
The Rambam Ravens and HANC Hurricanes are two schools with great basketball success in the past, but it has been several years since either team made their presence felt in the yeshiva league. The Hurricanes will be coached by Yeshiva University basketball legend Dani Katz, who has coaching in his blood as both his father and brother are well known and respected basketball maestros. Despite competitive conference schedules, both of these teams will execute their gameplans and try to make their mark in the yeshiva league.
This season it is nearly impossible to pick a favorite from the Eastern Conference of MYHSAL. Stay tuned for yeshiva league basketball updates coming weekly! With so many great teams and potential, this season is destined to be the best one yet.