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02/10/2023 08:07 AM

Naccarato a Dedicated and Silent Leader for Westbrook

Vin Naccarato has been a positive and integral asset to the Westbrook boys’ basketball team in his senior season this year. Photo courtesy of Vin Naccarato

Being a three-sport athlete in high school can be a challenge and also hard to balance. For senior Vin Naccarato, it has been a seamless task, as he has been a major asset to the Westbrook boys’ basketball team this season.

Vin started playing basketball when he was in fourth grade, and it has been a passion of his ever since, working hard in the offseason to help refine his skills.

“All of my best friends play, so they inspired me to start playing,” says Vin. “I play with my friends in the offseason at the Y (YMCA).”

Westbrook Head Coach Jeff Beeman has been impressed by Vin’s ability to be a silent leader for the Knights this season, both on and off the court, as well as his dedication to the game.

“Vin is quiet— he comes to practice every day and is respectful— ‘hello coach how are you doing’ kind of guy, and just works hard,” says Beeman. “It is clear that he is a lead-by-example kind of guy; he shows up and works and is respected by his teammates.”

Vin is currently averaging about five points per game, to go along with six rebounds per game. Besides being an on-court role model for his teammates, Vin also hopes to project his hard work on them.

“I can encourage my teammates to work their hardest on and off the court,” says Vin.

Vin is also a member of the Knights football team, as well as the outdoor track team. For track, he competes in the 100 meter, 4x100 meter relay, and throws the javelin.

Despite being a tri-sport athlete, Vin always remains positive and focused during basketball season.

“My teammates keep me positive, and I try to keep them positive,” says Vin. “We are still able to have a good time in practice and in school. Just being around each other keeps us positive.”

Beeman not only praises Vin for his work ethic, but also for having a personality that makes him a pleasure to be around.

“He is always in there battling against taller players, and he just works at it. That is what I respect about him the most,” says Beeman. “Off the athletic part, I respect his kindness, his willingness to work.”

The Knights are currently 1-15, with four more games remaining for Vin’s senior season. The biggest struggle for Vin is knowing this is his last time playing with this group of players, something he will certainly miss.

“The most challenging thing is that I know that I am not going to be able to play basketball with my friends ever again on an organized team,” says Vin.

Despite the season that the Knights have had this year, Beeman has looked back on it feeling optimistic because Vin and his fellow captains have created a bond among the team that makes them enjoy playing together.

“We are exponentially better than we were at the beginning of the season; we are making that progress. There are things the captains are doing behind the scenes that I am not aware of,” says Beeman. “Vin is one of those guys; I checked in with the captains to ask them how they are doing personally and how the team has been doing. Vin jumped up and said ‘Coach we all like each other, we’re fine. He has a very mature attitude.’”

As he reflects on his final season in a Knights uniform, Vin knows he has a few more things to look forward to before he closes the chapter on his high school basketball tenure.

“I’m looking forward most to our senior night game; we’re hoping to get a win that night,” says Vin. “I’m looking forward to spending time with my teammates during practice, games, and on the bus.”

Vin has managed to stay positive throughout this season, which is one of his biggest strengths, although his and the rest of the Knights’ efforts have not transferred to wins on the court. Beeman knows that despite Westbrook’s record, the camaraderie in the locker room is the most important thing.

“You go in and I just want these kids to experience winning a close game,” says Beeman. “I want my locker room to be rocking.”