Everybody’s getting a piece of the boys hoops action this season with the Inglemoor High Vikings.
Head coach Greg Lowell said it’s a total team effort that had the locals at the top of the 4A KingCo Crown Division at press time with a 9-3 record. As the 15-3 overall Viks began a recent practice session, captains Zach Shimek and Calvin McDaniel spoke about the squad, but in true team fashion, one of their teammates jokingly hovered around the interview. It’s all in for the Viks.
“I think our chemistry is a lot better this year, our team’s a lot closer than we were last year,” said Shimek, a junior 5-foot-11 guard. “I think after (last) season, we all knew that things needed to change, and I think we all got in the gym and worked hard and it’s paid off.”
With the postseason just around the corner, Shimek added that the Viks need to continue playing hard as a team and for all four quarters to keep the wins rolling in.
Three big victories and zero losses at the Mercer Island Christmas tournament translated into a championship for the Viks, and that was a huge trio of games for the boys.
“It kept our confidence up going into the second half (of the season) and wanting to finish out this regular season strong, and that helped a lot,” Shimek said.
Also standing 5-11 and manning the point guard/shooting guard spots, senior McDaniel said the team moves the ball well, plays strong defense and displays confidence and a stellar work ethic.
He’s enjoying what has transpired during his second year on varsity: “Just the growth as a team in general and just the spirit that we have here. It’s just a really cool atmosphere.”
When the ball is tipped into play, McDaniel likes what he sees with the Viks, whether the ball’s bouncing their way or if they need to turn things around if plays don’t wind up in their favor.
“We don’t really get on each other. If someone makes a bad play, we just tell them to keep their head up and look for the next play. We’re just able to work together and keep our heads up, and no matter what, we’ve still got each other as a team,” he said.
The Reporter asked Shimek and McDaniel a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Shimek: Just to always give my best effort. I think my dad’s always preached that to me, just work hard in anything I do.
McDaniel: What happens in the past is in the past. So say for the basketball court, if you miss a shot, don’t think about it too much, look for the next play.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Shimek: Rap or R&B.
McDaniel: I like EDM, dance music.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
McDaniel: “Surf’s Up.”
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Shimek: That’s a tough question. My all-time favorite basketball player and kind of idol that made me who I wanna be as a basketball player would be Derrick Rose.
McDaniel: Kevin Hart ‘cause he’s a pretty funny guy.
What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?
Shimek: I think it would be cool to be able to draw really well.
McDaniel: To be able to fly, like fly a plane would be pretty cool, or a helicopter.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Shimek: When people don’t say ‘thank you’ when you do stuff for them.
McDaniel: When you’re merging lanes or you let someone over and they don’t wave.