The new basketball season is creeping up and senior forward Jake Porath has primed himself to taste the sweetness of a state championship once more.
It will be a trying season for Chaminade High School, but such is the price that a team pays after winning a state championship. Porath is not fazed by the challenges that the 2014-15 season will surely bring for the Eagles, as he has seen hardship throughout high school.
After spending his freshman and sophomore years at nearby Viewpoint High School, Porath had to adjust to Chaminade halfway through his junior year. When asked why he was willing to make such a difficult transition, he said, “When I transferred last year, I was looking to go to a school where I could grow not only as a basketball player but as a student as well. I feel like my coaches and teammates helped me develop as a basketball player while the school allowed me to excel in the classroom.”
And grow he did. He blossomed at Chaminade, becoming the rare combination of a great student and athlete in the process. As a result, he had several options in terms of his collegiate education leading him towards his early commitment to Williams College. Like his teammate and good friend Michael Oguine, he committed early in the school year because he was so sure in his opinion. Being that Williams is a top liberal arts school and has a nationally successful Division III basketball program, it is difficult to fault him for his choice. For Porath, his commitment was not just a weight off of his shoulders, but also a fulfillment of his dreams; this is something that he has wanted to do since his early childhood.
Nonetheless, Porath remains focused on his goals for this season.
“Personally I’m excited to take on an increased role this season,” Porath said. And he will sure have to. On a team that can no longer rely on its size, the senior has become the Eagles’ most capable big man, but in a more unconventional way than most. He relies on his great shooting touch, which for this team, fits right in.
Aside from that, he will have to step into an unorthodox role. Although he has not even been at Chaminade for two full years, Porath will have to be a leader on this team. But Porath, along with his fellow seniors, are up for the challenge.
“I feel our team is capable achieving great things,” Porath said. “We still have a really good core group of guys, with Michael [Oguine], Jordan [Ogundarian], Dylan [Cuenca], and I.”
While Porath is confident in his abilities, he is not delusional: replacing Trevor Stanback and Jack Williams will have to be a collective effort. However, led by Porath, this team of sharpshooters should make the necessary adjustments. As a result, the offense could actually prove much more effective behind its fast pace and newfound chemistry.
The Eagles’ success is no longer a pleasant surprise. Now, Porath expects nothing less from himself and his teammates.
“I think as a team we expect to win,” Porath said. “We feel that if we play up to our potential we can play with anyone.”
The Mission League, though supposedly depleted of talent this year, will certainly prove tough once again. Alemany High School returns Shacquille Dawkins as well as Daron Henson and Loyola High School always seems to find a way to field a great team under head coach Jamal Adams.
Unfortunately for Porath, he will now have somewhat of a target on his back after his commitment; teams now know that he is an extremely capable player that can impact on any game. So whether or not this is a down year in the Mission League, Porath will need to leave his imprint on this season if the Eagles want to compete. Watch out—he is more than ready for the challenge.