March 4, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Dr. Drew’s Swish Volume 1, Issue 7

By Dr. Paul Drew 

Welcome to the seventh issue of volume one of Swish, a weekly periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as standings, schedules, announcements, and updates from the program.

This past weekend, as the youth played basketball inside the YMCA,  Santa Monica was covered with smoke from the fires, breathing outdoors was difficult, and many of us know of friends and family who have lost their homes in these horrific fires.  All of us involved with Santa Monica YMCA basketball wish to give our deepest sympathies and prayers to all those affected by the fires in California.

Bonding with Parents and Youth Development Through Sports

Sometimes through circumstances beyond a child’s control, their parents become separated or divorced.  Life can be difficult for a young child that has to spend time between parents. Participation in sports can be be a special bonding between a parent and a child, and create valuable memories that can last a lifetime.  Children of divorce can benefit from the normalcy that a sport can provide, benefit developmentally from playing a sport, and can encourage peaceful co-existence between co-parents.

The following is from

Sports can be incredibly valuable to a child’s development. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, sports help children:
Learn to play fair
Learn to play as a member of a team
Get exercise
Develop physical skills
Make friends
Have fun
Improve self-esteem
Additional evidence from the Public Library of Science detailed how sports can act as a way for children to take initiative and to plan, carry through, and achieve a valued goal. This allows children to learn what practice and a good work ethic can accomplish, as they continue in their development.

The level of development encouraged by participating in sports is important for children to engage in. Playing sports helps children develop social skills while promoting the importance of health and exercise. This activity also allows parents to take an active participatory role in their child’s development, but for a child of divorce, that can be more challenging, because for many parents, work schedules create a lot of chaos in scheduling time to help children practice. These schedules also interfere with attending games and being there when it matters. For children of divorce, attending games gets complicated when the other parent is taken into account. No matter which parent has custody of the child, the awkwardness and uneasiness of the situation is present.

It’s important to remember that you both are there to support your child. Communication and civility can go a long way in establishing a level of normalcy for your child. This can start with simple gestures that a child would appreciate, like dropping them off or picking them up from practice. Small beginnings can lend itself to becoming more comfortable as co-parents in your child’s life.


CROWS WING IT PAST SWANS – November 10th. Tournament play started with an afternoon Quarter Final for the two bird named teams, and both the Swans and Crows proved to know how to take flight. On offense, team effort soared from the Crows, with buckets attributed to Ethan Pages, Dylan Kravitz, three points from Veronica Machala and four points from Constantine Avramopoulos-Orlandou (he’s really coming on strong!). Adding in tenacious D from Player of the Game, Catherine Casas, plus a pivotal late game steal from their littlest player, Oliver Harris in which Coach Bill was able to cannily call time out to insure possession was retained, the victory was feathered for the Crows. Final score: 11-6.
Submitted by Coach Pete Harris

CROWS FIND A WAY PAST UNDEFEATED BULLDOGS – November 11th. In a Semi Final match up that was the third time this season the teams jump balled against one another–the other two games ending in Bulldog victories–the Crows finally broke through against the amazing first place team. Rainbow shots found gold for the Crows, two points each for Dylan Kravitz and Constantine Avrampolous-Orlandou. Hope and perseverance characterized the Crows every quarter, with Scarlett Harris, Richard Haro and Benjamin Saunders contributing early on with key rebounds and gritty skirmishes for loose balls. And four late-game points and countless rebounds from Veronica Machala, after having to miss a portion of the first quarter with a skinned knee, inspired both her teammates and coaching staff to finish out the most exciting victory of these young players’ lives. Final score: 8-5.  Submitted by Coach Pete Harris

The Hawks looked to add to their 2-game winning streak, but The Cats had other ideas.
Amir Enayati and Kingston Andes carried the offense, scoring two points each along with several rebounds and steals between them. Diego Gonzalez and Chase Jenkins played tough defense against the taller Cats frontcourt players and made a couple of nifty passes for near buckets.  On a day where not a lot of shots were falling against Cats’ unyielding defense; Ryan Drew and David Casparian salvaged some possessions with clutch rebounds to keep the game within reach.
Regan Shao and Juney Jones continue to improve on defense, adding a couple of steals to their season totals.  Also displaying some grit on defense, Spencer Nelson came up with a steal of his own.
Not much time to rest for the Hawks, as a rematch with the Tigers is this Saturday at 12:50 PM.  Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood

Last weekend the Swans who have been having a tough time getting their second win of the season faced the 3rd place Crows.  The first quarter had just one basket by Veronica Machara of the Crows. The 2nd quarter Benjamin Bassett of the Swans chipped in a bucket and Ethan Pages of the Crows threw one down making it 4-2 at the half.  The 3rd quarter both Constatine Orumdou & Dylan Kravitz of the Crows had a bucket a piece… Jaxton Moore was able to score a basket for the Swans. The 4th quarter Orumdou connected again for 2 points giving the Crows a double figures at 10 points and Brandon Israels found space to sink a basket giving Swans 6 points to finish before Crows Machara went 1 of 4 from free throws at the end making it 11-6 for the Crows win.  Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes

Rookie Swan’s Benjamin Bassett’s shot that scored 2 points in game versus the Crows.  Photo by Lisa Demsky.

Due to a quirk (mistake?) in the schedule, our Bulldogs faced the always-tough Crows for the third time in our last four games as we tried to go undefeated.  As with the first 2 games, this one was close and low-scoring. Unlike the first 2 games, this time the Crows hit the big shots and we could not, as we fell from the unbeaten ranks 8-5.  Our Bulldogs lead 2-0 at the half on a bucket by Bella Kariger and Vitalina Moncher would add 3 points in the second half, but our usually unbreakable defense gave up a season-high 8 points in the second half.  We hope to improve our defense in the paint and throw better passes this weekend to get back to our winning ways. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher


Special guest referee “The Voice” Pete Arbogast lines up the Titans and Broncos for post game handshakes.

The Rams continued their hot play on Saturday, defeating the Steelers for their fourth win of the season. Once again, the Rams had a balanced scoring attack with eight different players scoring for the Rams.  Bora Kocataskin led the team with a season high six points. Gavin Bao and Sean Saunders played excellent defense, helping hold the Steelers to only one basket in the final three quarters. The Rams are hoping to extend their winning ways in the Bantam Tournament starting next Sunday.  Submitted by Coach Peter Brown

The Rams Jack Carter shoots the ball against the Packers in Bantam league action.  Photo by Karen Brown

Being short handed, and up against the taller Packers, the Bengals showed some true grit, and great team play.  This was a close game all the way through. Player of the game, Camden Goetz, was on fire with 14 points, including a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter.  Julian Weinerman and Jahveed Braham had a hot hands with two buckets each. Assists were made by Dominic Drew and Asher Zaczepinski. And Ryan Cohen and Austin O’Brien provided solid defense and rebounding.  Great all around team effort to finish the regular season on a strong note. Submitted by Coach Paul Drew

The Bengals Dominic Drew feeds the ball down low to a cutting teammate Jahveed Braham in their game against the Packers.

The Steelers faced the Rams in an afternoon Bantam showdown at the Santa Monica YMCA this past Saturday.  The Steelers battled hard on defense during the contest, with the entire team running hard, grabbing rebounds and generating steals.  Samuel Levi opened up the game with two quick baskets, and he was the Steelers’ highest scorer of the game, while also adding 5 rebounds to the defensive effort.  Kyle Khodadi cleaned up on the boards, with an astounding 14 rebounds in the game, along with 4 steals. Ben Steelman and Mason Mahmoudi demonstrated some strong ball-handling skills throughout the game to go along with their defensive efforts, as they ferociously contested rebounds (Mason with 8 and Ben with 5) and repeatedly stealing the ball (Ben tying the team lead with 4 and Mason adding 3 more).  Miles Boelke led the team in blocked shots, foiling two attempted baskets by the Rams to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. The Steelers added some more offense in the third quarter, with Luke Steelman adding a basket with a beautiful mid-range jump shot. Liam Parr spent the game tirelessly in the thick of the action, his high energy showing up in tough defense as he grabbed 4 more rebounds against the Rams.  Alas, despite the tough defensive effort and energy by the Steelers, the Rams prevailed with their height and strong offense, with a final score of 18-6 in the hard-fought game. Fortunately, the Steelers were able to celebrate their effort with a well-earned snack while they looked forward to the next week’s contest against the Broncos. Great job by the Steelers, and thanks for a great coaching effort by Coaches Wendy & Xailoh Hermosillo!  Submitted by Mark Boelke and Bill Steelman

The Broncos had two close games this past weekend, splitting with a win against the Titans 19-18 and a loss to the Packers the next day 13-11.
The Broncos played well as a team with great passing and strong overall team defense. Alex Ghiassi, James Cook, Parker Keslow, Dagmawi Ayele, Elliot Ma, Owen Roberts, Lucas Kim scored for the team.  Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow

The Broncos Alex Ghiassi goes for a layup, against the Titans.  Photo by Kerri Keslow
Bantam action between the Packers and Broncos


No summaries were submitted


A strong start and big 4th quarter fueled the Rams’ 51-27 victory over the Ravens.  It was an all around team effort for the Rams, who were led by the strength its defense and rebounding (despite being out sized by the Ravens).   Rama Karimi (9 REB, 3 STL, 2 ASSISTS) and Sebastian Ramirez (8 PTS, 7 REB) feed the Rams’ hustle style of play. Orlando Popkin (6 PTS, 5 STL, 3 REB, 4 ASSISTS) had his fingerprints all over the game, while Keean Stoll pitched in with 4 PTS, 3 STL and 4 REB.  But the Rams were lead by Griffin Pine’s career high 21 PTS and Brayden Stoll (8 PTS, 3 REB), who did an admiral job guarding Ravens star Gaspar Antal throughout the match. In the 3rd quarter, the game got close when the Ravens reduced a 15 point lead to 29-21.  But starting with Shawn Sikder’s key basket, the Rams scored 17 of the next 19 points to put the game away. Submitted by Coach Brent Stoll

With both teams tied at the top of standings at 5-1, this game would have huge implications towards the league championship.  I felt our Packers were ready to play and win, but the much bigger Colts were too much for us inside. We also had numerous and consistent mistakes on our press; leading to many easy Colts buckets.  Sam Rubin had another great game with 26 points and plenty of steals and rebounds. Timosha Moncher added 11 points and Dom Kajota 6. Jesse Lister and Lukas Greblikas also had a bucket each. Overall, we didn’t play as well as we expected, but the mistakes can be corrected in time for our final 2 games.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

This week’s Profile:

Each week, Swish has a profile of a coach, player, or someone in the program who inspires all of us involved in Santa Monica YMCA basketball.

This week’s profile is of Santa Monica YMCA Coach Holden Hayes, who has been coaching his son Tristan for the past few seasons in the Rookie league, and was an assistant coach for the Summer U7 Santa Monica Stars which won the championship of the YMCA Culver-Palms basketball league.

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about coaching at the YMCA?

Holden:  Coaching at the Y is a great opportunity for a couple key reasons.  One, to be consistently engaged with my son Tristan, who simply loves all sports including basketball, and helping to play a part in his growth (overall) as a boy.  Two, creates the chance for a couple hours a week between practices and games to do my best to positively touch the lives of 9-10 kids by encouraging them, working on their games, and of course getting to know them.  Having coached just over a year now at the Y, and because of the 3-4 season/year program here, this is my 4th different team this fall as a coach and it’s allowed the ability to watch the evolution and growth of several kids both on the court and as maturing kids in general and that is rewarding to see that process.  Also, us parents end up getting to know each other sometimes too and that’s cool to make new friends, as well as with the kids, but for us adults too.

DocDrew:  Any particular coaches or players that you admire that you try to emulate in your coaching?

Holden:  So, as a kid growing up in 80’s/90’s Chicagoland, basketball was big…the Bulls w/ Jordan & Pippen and company with Zen Master Phil Jackson coaching were on top of their game and gave a lot for us to look up to.  Plus, my father loved basketball…he wasn’t big into other sports, but basketball his whole life was his favorite sport for fun both as a player and fan…so growing up it’s something we shared both practicing in the driveway at home, going to games I played, and watching/following the amazing run of MJ and the Bulls both on tv and in person at Chicago Stadium / United Center…ironically I moved to LA when I was 19/20 and was able to be in the home town for 4 more of the 5 rings coached by Jackson with two more all time legends Shaq & Kobe then Kobe and company.   I’d say if anything, it’s simply the passion for the sport that I have seemingly always had…including the history back from it’s origination at the YMCA in 1891 as discussed in your last Swish newsletter to the formation of Harlem Globetrotters in the 1920’s and seldom talked about all black Harlem Ren’s (Renaissance – the 1st black owned basketball team) to formation of the modern NBA in the 40’s and its rich history since. First learning from my father and sharing that basketball bond, and those great championship Chicago & LA teams, and now the exciting rich talent in the current NBA, and even to personally play for fun (I was on the court with a buddy of mine a few days ago at Reed Park, had a blast)…all that together fuel my passion for the game and inspire me to do my best as a coach (even if it’s for 5-7 year olds, haha).  

DocDrew:  What’s the most valuable thing that you feel is important for kids to know?

Holden:  Attitude.  Single handedly, in my opinion the most important thing.   For my own son and for all the kids that are ever on my team…there isn’t a bigger win than for the kids than learning how important a positive attitude is – whether win or lose, or whether something does or doesn’t go their way (big or small), to know and remember how impactful it is to be mindful and aware of their attitude.  With 5-7 year olds and their sometimes raw emotional ups and downs, it can be a challenge, however in the end, if I can help the kids mature in any way in this area, to me it’s the most valuable thing for sure.

We can’t thank Holden enough for all that he has done to help our youth basketball players through his positive and motivational coaching.  He’s an excellent representative of our Santa Monica Family YMCA in promoting healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development.

Coach Holden Hayes with his son Tristan


Saturday November 10th


Tournament quarterfinals

Cats 8, Hawks 4

Crows 11, Swans 6


Titans 18, Broncos 19

Bengals 23, Packers 17

Steelers 6, Rams 18


Bears 28, Falcons 37

Eagles 24, Giants 24


No games scheduled

Sunday,  November 11th


Tournament semi-finals

Bulldogs 5, Crows 8

Tigers 14, Cats 4


Packers 13, Broncos 11


No games scheduled


Dolphins 43, Panthers 30

Raiders 40, Broncos 79

Ravens 27, Rams 50

Colts 69, Packers 47


Teams are awarded 5 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, 1 point for a loss, 0 points for a forfeit.  Tournament games have greater point value. Teams are listed in their place in the standings with W-L-T and team points


Bulldogs 6-1-0, 32 points

Crows 5-3-0, 29 points

Tigers 5-2-0, 28 points

Cats 3-5-0, 21 points

Hawks 2-5-0, 15 points

Swans 1-6-0, 11 points


Titans  5-2-0, 27 points

Packers 4-2-1, 25 points *Packers beat Titans head to head

Rams 4-2-1, 25 points

Bengals 4-3-0, 23 points

Broncos 4-2-0, 22 points

Jets 2-5-0, 15 points *Jets beat Bucs head to head

Buccaneers 2-5-0, 15 points

Steelers 1-5-0, 10 points


Chiefs 6-0-0, 30 points

Eagles 4-1-1, 24 points *Eagles beat Seahawks, Giants lost to Seahawks

Giants 4-1-1, 24 points

Bills 3-3-0, 18 points *Bills beat Seahawks head to head

Seahawks 3-3-0, 18 points

Bears 1-5-0, 10 points

Falcons 1-5-0, 10 points

Vikings 1-5-0, 10 points

Currently three way tie for 6th place:  Bears beat Vikings, Vikings beat Falcons, Falcons beat Bears


Colts 6-1-0, 31 points

Packers 5-2-0, 27 points *Packers beat Rams and Broncos head to head

Rams 5-2-0, 27 points *Rams beat Broncos head to head

Broncos 5-2-0, 27 points

Raiders 3-4-0, 19 points

Dolphins 2-5-0, 15 points

Ravens 1-5-1, 13 points

Panthers 0-6-1, 9 points

Upcoming Schedule

All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA








12:50 PM        TIGERS VS HAWKS



2:00 PM        BEARS VS EAGLES







10:30 AM        1ST PLACE VS 4TH PLACE

11:40 AM        2ND PLACE VS 3RD PLACE


12:50 PM        BENGALS VS 8TH PLACE

2:00 PM               6TH PLACE VS 7TH PLACE





3:10 PM        CHIEFS VS 4TH PLACE



5:30 PM        5TH PLACE VS 8TH PLACE

6:40 PM        6TH PLACE VS 7TH PLACE



Thank you very much,

Dr. Paul Drew, editor and publisher of Swish

in News, Sports
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