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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Boys’ basketball hopes to build on past success

Alex Lee
Head Coach David Rebibo speaks in a team meeting after a preseason practice. The team looks to repeat as California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state champions, currently ranked fourth in the country.

The boys’ basketball team looks to defend their title as California state champion this coming winter. In the previous season, the Wolverines won their first California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Open Division championship in school history. According to MaxPreps, the team is currently ranked fourth in the country and first in California.

Although the team is centered around a frontcourt trio of guard Trent Perry ’24, guard Robert Hinton ’24 and wing Nikolas Khamenia ’24, the forward positions are yet to be determined after forwards Jacob Huggins ’23 and Brady Dunlap ’23 graduated last year. Head Coach David Rebibo said the team will look to their younger players to fill the positions of starting forwards.

“[Forward Dominique Bento ’26] is gonna have a great opportunity, as well as [Forward Barron Linnekens ’26], [Forward Bryce Williams ’26], [Wing Isaiah Carroll ’25] and Khamenia,” Rebibo said. “The beauty of having great depth and some really talented players is that we have an opportunity to put them out there, provide them experience and see what they do. [Huggins] had four offensive rebounds a game for us last year, which is four extra possessions a game. That needs to be made up somewhere.”

Khamenia said he looks forward to stepping into a new role for his team if required.

“I’m excited,” Khamenia said. “I feel like I have the trust from my teammates and coaches. I’ve worked for [this position] throughout the summer. I’ve also worked for it throughout the fall, so I’m just excited to take it on.”

Rebibo said the team’s focus during games is on improving rather than winning.

“We approach every game trying to get better,” Rebibo said. “There are mindsets and approaches that we have to have game in and game out, as we prepare and move on through the season. Every game for us is going to be a challenge. And the mindset, whether we think a team is good or not is irrelevant. Whether we think it’s winnable or not is irrelevant. We’ve got to get better if our ultimate goal is to become the best team come January.”

Perry, who recently committed to the University of Southern California (USC) to play Division 1 basketball, said he is specifically focused on gaining strength and athleticism in his senior year.

“I want to be more explosive, keep getting bigger and stay in the gym,” Perry said. “I know at the next level we have to get more explosive and get stronger, to make sure that we have the skills and tangibles just to be able to work around a scout that’s implemented on any one of us.”

The Wolverines finished the previous season with an overall record of 34-2 with a league record of 7-0. Hinton said the team hopes to win every game this season as well as the championship.

“That loss to [St. John Bosco High School] still stung us, even to this day,” Hinton said. “The first few weeks after winning the state championship our team was insanely happy and proud of ourselves. But right when we started getting back into those preseason practices in the summer, every single practice ended with our coach telling us that we didn’t win it all. The whole goal this year is to win every single thing that we get in position to win. We all have that fire in our belly this year to win every single thing possible and put up an extra banner in our gym.”

The team’s next game is against Palisades High School in the Westside Tip-Off Showcase at Westchester High School on Nov. 16.

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Justin Tang, Assistant Sports Editor
Alex Lee, Assistant News Editor

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