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Who's Number One?

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

By: Riyad Merrifield

As soon as I heard that the teachers of Wheaton North played a weekly game of morning basketball, I figured that it would be quite interesting to investigate and figure out who the teachers think is the best. So, I created a basketball teacher survey that was sent out to all of the teachers who participated in the event. This consisted of Mr. Mazzone, James, Ferguson, Khan, Murphy, Hineman, Kennedy, Wardynski, Brackmann, Pearlman, Klingelhoffer, Robinson, Kadera, Bantz, Rollins, Pribaz, and Garcia. I split up the survey into the specific essential elements of basketball that are generally known worldwide: 3 point shooting, midrange shooting, finishing, passing, perimeter defense, interior defense, and vocal leadership.

In the shooting category, Evan James overwhelmingly dominated with about 80% of responses leading back to him as the best 3 point shooter. Coach James has said to have a smooth release, and when students were told of this outcome none were super surprised. ‘In the end, you have to put the ball in the basket’' says an anonymous teacher when asked what’s the most valuable skill in basketball. “Shooting can cure a lot of ills in other areas.” Coach Bantz seems to be on the come up “From the limited time that I’ve seen him… he is very much a shooter, so I would put him up there,” says one teacher when asked who’s the best shooter. Coach Mazzone however, seems to be the best midrange shooter, as 100% of surveys said that they thought he was the best midrange sniper and a lot of students agreed as about ¾ of those weren’t that surprised with that.

For the topics of finishing and passing, there seems to be somewhat of a level playing field. The survey didn’t provide a definitive answer for who was the best, as the responses provided multiple different options. Verbally however, Coach Bantz has received high praise from a fellow teammate. “He was attacking the basket pretty well,” says a teammate. Coach Khan has also received high praise. “Coach Khan, y'know, at 6’9, he’s pretty skilled,” said a teacher when asked who was the best finisher.

As a premiere defender, Coach Ferguson received that honor with 75% of votes pointing to him as being the best perimeter guy, and, as an interior defender, the results are 50-50. The edge was given to Mr. Garcia after a teacher provided his opinion: “He’s got some size. He’s not a real aggressive offensive player. He kinda puts his energy into defense.”

Finally, Coach Khan receives the honor of being the most vocal leader, as he received 75% of the votes with addition to other praise. “He’s played a lot of basketball, and he’s pretty vocal out there.” Yet, a teammate wanted to give credit to Coach Mazzone saying that “Mazzone has kinda taken over the role of leader of the league. He’s the one that organizes the teams each week, so he’s pretty vocal as far as organizational stuff.” So credit to Coach Mazzone as well for keeping up and setting up these games for the other coaches. It sounds like real fun!

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