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01/28/2023 08:12 AM

Goldberg Stays True to the Basketball Court for Guilford Hoops

Senior Kevin Goldberg has let his passion of the game shine through on the court for the Guilford boys’ basketball team. Photo courtesy of Kevin Goldberg

Sometimes kids find something they’re passionate about at a young age, and they just stick with it.

That’s exactly what happened for Kevin Goldberg, now a senior forward for the Grizzlies boys’ basketball team. His love for the game started at a young age and has only grown since then.

Kevin has been playing basketball his whole life and has been starting on the varsity squad for the Grizzlies for the last two seasons.

“I started playing mini-hoops basketball in kindergarten and then played rec basketball in 3rd and 4th grade. I did not make the travel A team throughout all my years, but luckily for me, a travel B team was started,” says Kevin. “Watching my sister’s game sparked my interest to play and was a huge motivation for me.”

Kevin is also a part of an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball team that he’s been involved with since he was in fifth grade. He uses this league during the fall and spring to prepare for the high school season and to have the option to continue playing basketball in the offseason.

This season, so far, has been a successful one for Kevin, who has been averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game. In one matchup on Jan. 10., the Grizzlies competed against the 7-2 Fairfield Prep Jesuits but lost by a final score of 65-49. Kevin finished that game with nine points and four rebounds.

The Grizzlies’ current record is 4-3, and it is still early in their season. In a recent contest, Guilford played against the rival 7-4 Hand Tigers on Jan. 19., winning by a score of 46-40.

Kevin says that playing against a tough, competitive rival like Hand shows how competitive the Grizzlies are.

“It was a great game. We ended up winning by six points, and it was a much-needed win. Coming off of three recent losses to great teams, we knew what needed to be done,” says Kevin. “From the tip, we were able to get after it and beat Hand for the first time in five years.”

Guilford started off strong last year, with a 9-0 record at the midway point.

“Starting last season off with a 9-0 start was incredible. Guilford had qualified for the states and SCC tournaments before losing a game,” says Kevin. “So this year, currently at 4-3, it’s going to be a challenge for us to shape the team’s record into what it should be.”

Despite the team’s struggles this season so far, Head Coach Jeff DeMaio says that Kevin has been an integral part of helping to lead the team to success.

“Kevin is a competitor. He is big and strong, and he loves to play,” says DeMaio. “He has worked on his skills in the offseason, and he is a huge part of what we do. He plays hard, and he epitomizes what this program stands for.”

A lot of high school athletes like to play multiple sports throughout their four years, but Kevin is an exception. He is so passionate about basketball that he does not participate in any other sports, with hoops being his main focus aside from his academics.

“I quit all the other sports so I could play basketball in the offseason,” says Kevin. “My academics are my biggest priority, but basketball remains a close second.”

The Grizzlies’ 12-8 final record from last year resulted in them moving up to Division II for this year, where they compete in the Housatonic Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC).

“Moving up to Division II this year, Guilford is going to have a much more challenging time in states, but we will be ready for whatever the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) throws at us,” says Kevin.

Besides playing in another basketball league in the offseason, Kevin finds other ways to stay in shape. He also began training in the weight room when he was in 8th grade and maintains a consistent schedule to keep his body healthy and ready for the competition.

“I started working out in 8th grade and have continued doing so throughout my high school career,” says Kevin. “Also, before this season to prepare, four other seniors and I worked with a trainer to prepare for our final season.”