attending a team camp at Santa Clara University from June 21-24.
Although the team struggled initially, coach Jared Wilson, who captained the JV team this past school year, has seen marked improvement during the summer sessions.
"Our first summer league game we got beat pretty bad. A lot of the kids are JV players from last year who just moved up to varsity basketball," Wilson explained. "They were nervous to start with. I told them 'this isn't JV basketball anymore' and they got that message and responded. Lately we've been playing really well.
"A lot of the teams that we're playing against have much more experience than we do, and we're not sealing the deal and winning every game, but we're competitive and we're in every game up until the end."
The summer team features only three returning varsity players, Daniel Freeman, Tyler Dixon and Rene Melgoza. Of the three, Freeman is the most experienced, having played varsity basketball as a sophomore and again last year as a junior.
Wilson has high expectations for Freeman, who's already established that he's capable of being an excellent ball handler and distributor at the varsity level. Freeman's experience, as well as his tremendous work ethic, give Wilson every reason to believe that he's ready to shoulder a leadership role heading into his senior season.
"I expect the most out of him because he has that experience," said Wilson. "He's an extremely smart player and he understands when to pull it back out and reset the offense, when we need him to look for a shot, and when we need to take a charge at the defensive end - I just let him go."
Freeman has been joined in the Lion backcourt by Aaron Meeks, an extremely aggressive player who's not shy about looking for his own shot, which should allow Freeman to flourish as a pass-first point guard.
Wilson is also looking forward to seeing how Ryan Lett responds to the challenge of varsity competition. The 6-foot-3-inch sophomore has a multitude of skills and ought to thrive at the forward position this winter.
"His greatest strength is his tenacity and willingness to learn," Wilson said of Lett. "He has to work on some fundamentals - he's raw - but he's extremely competitive and eager to improve."
The team's next game, a showdown with cross-town rival Heritage, will take place at Las Positas on Monday, July 23 at 3 p.m.