By Ryan Gierhahn ‘23

When Coach Frasor announced he’d be stepping down as head coach in late July, many thought the future of the Brother Rice basketball program was in jeopardy.

He had led the team for the last seven seasons and posted a record of 142-56 during his tenure. Coach Frasor won two regional titles in his first three years as coach as well.

His role will undoubtedly not be an easy one to fill.

There were several rumors going around about players transferring, the new coaching job, and if the team was really going to be ready to play come November.

But the players decided they weren’t going to let something like this affect them from having another successful season.

They’re returning 3-year varsity point guard Ahmad Henderson, sharpshooter Nick Niego, versatile big Khalil Ross, and lots of other key players. It’s one of the deepest teams Brother Rice has seen in a while.

Not much can be done in the preseason as a team besides open gyms and using the weight room,  so when the players were given the opportunity to compete in the Larry Butler Fall Shootout on September 17-18th, it was a chance they couldn’t pass up.

The shootout consisted of 28 teams, including Romeoville, Lyons Township, Metamora, and other talented programs across the state.

To start the shootout, the Crusaders played two games on Saturday against Niles North and class 3a state runner-up, Metamora. They won both games by 10+ points and headed into Sunday with confidence.

It was a “win or go home” style bracket, so the guys had to come ready to play if they wanted to go home victorious.

On Sunday, the team defeated Lindblom Academy, Dyett High School, West Aurora, and Metea Valley in the championship game. Each game was won by at least 10 points again.

Junior Cale Cosme said, “We are trying to get a feel for each other on the court again. This is just the beginning of what’s to come this season.”

The Crusaders were also missing a few players, which only makes the wins more impressive. Those who were able to play include Ahmad Henderson, Cale Cosme, Jimmy Navarette (not pictured), Khalil Ross, Zavier Fitch, Tre Dowdell, Peter McShane (not pictured), Marcos Gonzalez, and me, Ryan Gierhahn.

It’s good to see some early success from this talented Crusader team, because people sure are expecting it from them this winter.