Throughout the 2021 season, the Serra Cavaliers boys’ basketball team maintained a strong chemistry.
“With this team, it’s been fun,” said Serra boys’ basketball head coach Bernard McCrumby. “This group has been a pleasure to coach, I’m having a great time.”
The team has a 11-10 overall record and a 3-5 Del Ray League record. The Del Ray league houses several contending programs, including St. Bernard, a team that is ranked at 39th place in California. Serra junior point guard Jeremy Dent-Smith noted how playing a league game is like competing in the playoffs.
“Our league is tough, there’s never gonna be an easy game for you,” Dent-Smith said. “Our record, it doesn’t really show the type of team that we are.”
A significant game was their season opener against Windward when Serra lost 64-35. After the game, the team converged to talk about ways they could improve. The pain from the loss became a reminder for the Cavaliers to always give their best effort during games.
“We told each other “We don’t want to feel like that no more,”” Dent-Smith said. “We took it to heart … it changed the whole aspect of the season and how we played.”
On two occasions this season, the Cavaliers had a seven-game stint that happened in less than two weeks. Most games were every other day while some happened on two consecutive days.
“It tested our physical endurance, but I feel like it tested our mental endurance even more,” said junior guard Tomi Adesiji. “Say we lost a game, not every team can just come back after a loss and say, “we can win the next game,””
McCrumby was impressed by the player’s desire to improve and play hard. He mentioned how they listen, execute, and play together.
“This is the first team that I’ve had where a player texted me a scouting report because they watched film,” McCrumby said. “They just want to grow and be better players, that’s just a pleasure to be a part of.”
Adesiji noted how he watched film during the quarantine to improve his basketball IQ. He studied the playing styles of Steph Curry along with Baylor, Kentucky, UCLA, and Duke.
“One big thing I learned that I still feel like I need to work on is moving without the ball,” Adesiji said. “In college and in watching Curry too, he’s never really standing still, he’s always moving, making the defense have to think.”
While they helped the Cavaliers reach the second round of the playoffs, Adesiji and Dent-Smith are honor roll students. Since their freshman year, the two teammates anticipated their junior and senior years.
“Our junior year and our senior year, we’re going to do something big,” Adesiji said. “I was also really looking forward to playing this year.”