By Denna Changizi,
Growing up, senior Peter DeBello had always been drawn to basketball. Whether it was throwing a ball into the mini basketball hoop in his backyard or watching the NBA, the sport has always been a part of his life.
“I would always play around and shoot at recess it was always pretty fun to play with friends so I just started playing competitively,” DeBello said.
In the fifth grade, DeBello participated in a city league game, then continued to play on the basketball team for Harper junior high. In addition to playing for the school team, the athlete began to play for the Hot Shots club basketball team, giving him additional experience and helped keep him in shape for the school season.
Once DeBello reached high school level basketball, he tried out for the team and continued to play freshman and junior varsity. When junior year arrived, he tried out for the varsity team hopeful that he would make the team, but to his surprise, DeBello was cut.
“In junior year I just I was in kind of a bad place mentally, to be honest, at that point. I think that kind of did it. I just felt like I could’ve gone a lot harder junior year but I was kind of lazy so I think that’s why I got cut,” DeBello said.
Rather than letting the disappointment stump him, DeBello put in twice as much effort and began to practice more to prepare for next year’s tryouts. Luckily his hard work paid off and DeBello made the 2016-2017 varsity team.
“I got a little better and now I am on the team. I don’t play very much but I just try to go hard when I’m in and its still fun being on the team,” Debello said sharing the same positive attitude that his teammates display on the court.
DeBello explains that his teammates constantly encourage one another, stressing the importance of an optimistic attitude during games. The unique atmosphere that the Davis High varsity basketball team has influences players not to dwell on their mistakes but to move past them with a positive mindset.
“If you’re in and you make a really bad mistake, everyone just picks you up and then you don’t worry about it and then you play better,” DeBello said.
Similarly, DeBello is cheerful for this basketball season. The team has started off strong and DeBello is putting in time with and without the team to participate, hoping that the team will be able to make playoffs this year.
But with all the focus on basketball, DeBello finds the sport particularly challenging when forced to balance extracurriculars with school.
“It does cut a lot [of time] out of school work because practices are six days a week, two hours after school so that’s just less time to do homework or to sleep–one of the two,” Debello said.
Each night after practice, DeBello divulges in his schoolwork hoping to get enough rest for the following day. He believes that choosing one or the other would each have a negative effect, so he must find a balance.
While Debello strives to balance basketball and school, coach Daniel Gonzalez admires the player’s determination.
“I have a lot of respect for the fact that he came back, tried out after having been cut last year and it’s obvious that he has a big passion for the sport of basketball. He’s worked hard to earn his way on this team and so I’m really happy for him and it says a lot about him,” Gonzalez said.
Despite DeBello’s cut last year, Gonzalez believes that DeBello contributes to the team of diligent players who form a competitive and hardworking team. Last year when DeBello tried out, his position was in high demand, requiring Gonzalez to pick and choose. The coach starts every year with a clean slate and has no hesitation to cut returning players.
“It’s a life lesson what he’s been through that sometimes things don’t work out and also that if you work hard for things, you can be rewarded. It’s not always a guarantee but he gave it a shot again and I really respect that,” Gonzalez said.