Men’s basketball team takes on the game of academics


Kathia Noriega

Sean Richardson defends Skyline College against Monterey Peninsula at home game on Nov. 16.

Justin Piergrossi, the head coach of the Skyline men’s basketball team is embarking on his 19th season and is excited to see how this team will grow during the 2022-23 season. Piergrossi takes pride in knowing he can be a role model for his player’s, and really tries to emphasize the importance of school for student athletes.

“My objective is to try to model behavior that can help them in the future when they are adults,” Piergrossi said. “Basketball is extremely important to them at this stage in their life. We’re not just trying to prepare them for basketball. We’re just trying to prepare them to be happy, successful people.”

He has successfully driven his players onto the dean’s list 126 times, with his encouraging attitude to do well on and off the court. This demeanor has already left a mark in his athlete’s lives, including their team’s point guard Aaron Friedkin.

“It’s one of the first things he talks about when we get here,” Friedkin said. “You have to be a student first, and basketball comes second. That was just a big thing that he’s preached from the beginning.”

However, their academic success isn’t the only strength this team has. Friedkin describes being a part of a close knit team as a joyful experience. He takes pride in the interactions among the team during practices, road trips, and even outside the game.

“It’s amazing, I love the guys,” Friedkin said. “We all just kind of connect. We all have similar personalities. We love everybody, and we bring everyone into the team.”

The chemistry on the team is at an all time high, and they definitely use that to their advantage when trying to win games. They’re hanging out outside of practice, which has made it a lot easier to be able to glue the team together, and improve their team bonding.

Team captain Ryan Wilson, describes this team as a tough family during his interview when he explains how great this team has worked together throughout the season. Everyone is ‘buying into their roles’ and proving their strengths during games to add to their winning record.

“I feel like we play together as a team a lot,” Wilson said. “We move the ball well. We’re always looking for the open man. We get along really [well] together.”

Catch the team in action on the road, this Friday, Dec. 2 against Gavilan College.