This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published March 21, 2019
Jason Giaparda elevated his game for the East Haven boys’ basketball team this season. A senior captain, Jason displayed great intangibles and did all the little things to help the Yellowjackets put some wins in the books. One of the biggest things that Jason brought to East Haven was his gritty determination on the court.
“I just like being high energy. Making a hustle play, saving a loose ball, it’s something I like doing, because it gets my teammates off the bench and the people in the crowd loud and excited,” says Jason. “I know my role on the team was to hustle, grab rebounds, and play defense. I learned that from the middle of my sophomore year and worked on other areas of my game to get better.”
Jason made a lot of plays that didn’t show up in the box score, but still had an impact on the outcome of game. Head Coach Ricky Narracci certainly took note of the effort that Jason gave his squad.
“He boxed out, dove for loose balls, took charges, and didn’t back down from his opponents. He had all the qualities coach look for,” Narracci says. “He did pretty much anything we needed him to do. If I told him we needed him in a defensive assignment one night, he would. He knew his role, accepted his role, and excelled in it.”
Communication on the floor was key for Jason in his role as a captain. Jason hopes that his style of play influences the younger athletes on the Yellowjackets.
“I really liked it, because we had a young team, so I felt kids needed some guidance. Helping my teammates do the right thing on and off the court was special to me,” Jason says. “I hoped that with way I acted as a captain, the team would gain respect for the way I play. I’m not selfish. I’ll let anyone score as many points as they want as long as we’re winning.”
Jason came a long way with his rebounding during his high school career. In his senior season, Jason pulled down his fair share of boards for East Haven.
“Every day in practice, coach would work on rebounding. Ever since my sophomore year, when I got on the varsity court, I learned from him it’s all about boxing out and being in position,” says Jason, a 5-foot-11 forward. “It’s about knowing who shot it and being in the right spot and just putting a body on another person.”
Jason decided to give football a try as a junior and really took a liking to the sport. Last fall, Jason played wide receiver, tight end, and linebacker for the Yellowjackets. Although he got out to a late start, Jason says he’s happy with his decision to join the football team.
“It was a really great experience. My first year, we had a young team and, this year, we turned it around,” Jason says. “It was my most fun year of sports I’ve ever played.”