August 14, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Doc Drew’s Swish Volume 2, Issue 2

By Dr. Paul Drew 

Welcome to the second issue of volume two 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 holiday weekend, most of the teams in the Santa Monica YMCA had at least one game to play.  Every team now has gotten their feet wet, and is off and going with the regular season fully underway.

If you were unable to get your child in the Winter season of YMCA youth basketball, then please sign up for the Spring season.  Registration for Spring season will be available in person at the YMCA or online at beginning February 1st, and the Spring season will start on March 18th, 2019.

Combating racism through youth sports

The following is from

New research shows racism can be learned by children as young as 4. By preschool, children may have already internalized harmful racist attitudes.

The good news is that exposure to different races at an early age can greatly reduce a child’s bias.

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, 4- to 6-year-old Chinese children were asked to use an app that challenged them to recognize black faces. After two sessions, researchers saw a reduction in their implicit bias.

The study has been embraced by doctors and researchers who see early involvement in sports as an effective tool for breaking down racism in kids. Dr. Angel Brutus, LPC, clinical and sport performance consultant at Synergistic Solutions LLC, is one of many professionals who believe youth sports can be a great way to promote inclusivity in children.

She says:
“Given the studies suggesting that early exposure to bias awareness and training, it would seem likely that early sports participation, specifically within the context of working alongside teammates of diverse backgrounds, yes, youth sports can be one of many available effective tools to address racial biases in young children.”

Inclusivity is just one benefit to playing sports — and those benefits don’t just stay on the playing field. Dr. Brutus points out that many of the lessons acquired in the athletic environment translate to academics. “Some of the skills learned in sport participation can also transfer for youth into the classroom setting,” she says.

Here are four ways researchers feel youth sports can reduce bias and promote diversity in children.

Expose Children to Diverse Authority Figures

According to the University of Toronto study, developing a personal relationship with one black individual was enough to help preschoolers rethink previously developed negative attitudes. That’s because coaches, teammates, and parents of teammates have a significant influence on our future selves.

“There can be a robust number of benefits to having teammates and/or coaches of diverse backgrounds like exposure to different values, belief systems, approaches, goal-orientation, and motivational styles,” says Dr. Brutus.

Dr. Brutus sees a large benefit to exposing children to guardians, mentors, and other influential figures from a variety of backgrounds. Allowing children to be encounter varying perspectives helps them develop a cultured sense of self and appreciation of diversity.

Learn The Importance Of Teamwork And Relationships

Sports are a prime opportunity for youth to work together, requiring children to interact with and rely on teammates from a variety of locations in order to be successful. Team sports also reduce individualistic mindsets and reinforce attitudes that emphasize the importance of the collective.

“Increased exposure to and engagement with individuals of diverse backgrounds helps to humanize others, especially when each participant is tasked with pursuing individual and collective goals involving optimal sports outcomes,” says Dr. Brutus.

Seeing others as “them” becomes increasingly difficult as you work together to achieve a common goal.

Also, many young athletes report establishing their first best-friendships during sports. Those relationships often turn out to be lifelong. Youth sports can be one of the earliest opportunities young children receive to diversify those circles.

A child’s social circle can have a substantial impact on identity development and perspectives. Being part of a diverse group of friends with their own experiences and opinions prepares children to deal with individuals who are not like them.

Provide New Frameworks For Thinking

Children learn many of the negative messages about other groups from being surrounded by those with few experiences that challenge those messages. As a result, children internalize these biases and see others as less-than — and it costs them.

“When children operate in homogeneous environments, it really suppresses opportunity for developing social-emotional skills that can sometimes support creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and independent thinking,” says Dr. Brutus.

By interacting with a diverse group of individuals in youth sports, children are faced with the need to challenge previous harmful perceptions of other groups. This is especially beneficial for children that came from non-inclusive environments.

Teach Inclusivity to Adults and Parents

Children aren’t the only ones to benefit from an expanded network of authority figures gained through coaches and other parents on sporting teams. For parents, sports provide an opportunity to extend their own support networks.

Dr. Brutus notes:
“Parents with children involved in youth sports can certainly benefit from their child’s participation. It increases their circle of influence and support by gaining exposure to other parents who are also navigating the sport-parent experience. Youth sports participation also gives the young athlete exposure to another authority figure, which in turn can serve as a great ally for parents to support accountability, discipline, and consequences with their athletes.”

That environment can have lasting positive effects on a young athlete.


The Orioles Oguz Aghayev passes the ball up the court in Rookie league action.  Photo by Lala Aghayeva

1/19 Rookie Orioles vs Twins
The Orioles and Twins faced off in what was a tough shooting day for both teams.  That plus tough defense led to a low scoring game overall.
For the Orioles, Jackson Harper came out aggressively with 3 steals and 3 rebounds in the 1st quarter for a total of 4 steals and 7 rebounds in the game.  Harper added a 1st half free throw and 2nd half basket for a total of 3 points in the game. Tristan Hayes brought lots of energy and attacked the ball grabbing 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and added one bucket for 2 points…also earning Player of the Game.  Bryson Ning and twin brothers Spencer & Ross Nelson all grabbed one rebound each to help get extra possessions for the Orioles. Oguz Aghayev, Cruz Hecklin, Colson Moore, and Wyatt Mindis all held their own on defense helping hold the Twins to only one basket.  That basket came by way of Twins Samuel Shteynberg in the 4th quarter after a slew of rebounds, steals, and a blocked shot throughout the game clearly making him the biggest threat to the Orioles all game. He had some help from some of his teammates, but in the end, the Orioles took it 5-2.  Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes

BLUE JAYS HANG FOR ONE HALF WITH THE YANKEES — January 20th — The season is only beginning, and in their second game, the Blue Jays were finding a way to hang with the vaunted Yankees by keeping it a low scoring, defensive battle. It was two-to-nothing in the Yankees favor till the 3rd quarter when the Blue Jays’ fervor was quieted. Still, Scarlett Harris amassed 7 rebounds and 4 points. Tanner Lehmkuhl grabbed 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal, and Arya Nawathe had a steal too. Alas, scoring will be hard to come by with these tough and awesome kids, but their brave, hopeful hearts and desire to get better will never be questioned. Final score: 14-4. Submitted by Coach Pete Harris

Last Saturday the Twins Rookie Level Basketball Team took on an aggressive and talented Orioles Team.  Having suffered a 9 to 4 loss against the Yankees in the prior week, the main objective for the Twins this week was to not allow their opponent to score as many points and to have even more fun than the week before.  Mission accomplished as they held the Orioles to 5 points!  With the Twins down 2 – 0 during the first half of the game, Coach Ash takes a timeout to chat with his shooting star Sam Shteynberg to encourage him to put some points on the board. Coach Ash’s words of encouragement paid dividends for the Twins as Sam Shteynberg increased his shooting effort and ultimately scored the Twins only points for the game.  Submitted by Chris Greenwell

The day before the big game, a few members of the Twins demonstrated the art of taking it easy, as one of their coaches suggested they practice not being so nervous on the court.  (Pic of kids on the floor:  Kian Tarki, Elliot Israels, Sam Shteynberg, Aidan Smith, Dylan Mills, River Greenwell, and Neil Myles.). Submitted by Chris Greenwell

The Twins Samuel Shteynberg launches a shot against the Orioles.  Photo by Gabriella Risatti
The Yankees Ryan Drew with his “Player of the Game” award.

We knew the Red Sox had a few quality shooters coming into this game and I felt we needed to hold them to less than 8 points to have a chance.  Fortunately for our Rays, all the breaks went our way.  As the Sox shots bounced out, ours bounced in.  The Sox also had some late-arriving players (never good for a coach and his strategy) that seemed to wreak havoc on their rotations later in the game.
The first quarter was a good one for us, as Aaron Dyner, Luca Samson, and Vitalina Moncher all hit shots to give us a 6-2 lead.  Neither team scored in the second quarter, but both teams started to find the net in the second half.  Aaron and Vitalina hit again in the third quarter to match the 4 points the Sox put up.  Luca hit another bucket in the fourth quarter, but the Sox responded with two buckets to keep it close.  Vitalina then hit two buckets in the bottom of the fourth to seal it for the Rays.  Although we gave up 10 points, our surprisingly robust offense gave us a solid 16-10 win.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

Rookie league action between the Red Sox and the Rays.
The Orioles Tristan Hayes with his “Player of the Game” award.  Photo by Holden Hayes


The Giants had another exciting close matchup on Sunday, this time against the Pirates. Cheers from the crowd rang out in the first twelve seconds of the game when Owen Benham landed his first Bantam basket. Abby Ma landed both of the only shots she took during the game adding another 4 points for the Giants and drawing a 100% shooting average. James Petrovich also brought in 4 points, and another 4 points were split by Harlan Mansfield and Jack Salaski. There was great team spirit all around with a formidable number of assists (6) for such a young division, and nearly every player in the squad grabbing at least one rebound, including a first for newcomer Sam Hastings, and 3 each for Sadie Stiehm, Mansfield, and Petrovich. Vihaan Nawathe, Jacopo Stabilini, Jaxton Moore, and Salaski each grabbed 2 rebounds. Defense was also key in keeping the spectators and parents on the edge of their seats. Stiehm and Petrovich helped the team gain momentum with their steals, while Stabilini and Moore both racked up blocked shots to keep the pressure on the Pirates. A valiant effort to be proud of from all of the Giants!!  Submitted by Coach Wendy Hermosillo and Jason Moore

Giants coaches Wendy and Xailoh Hermosillo discuss strategy during a timeout.

The Reds played the Pirates on Saturday and the game was very close from beginning to end.  The Pirates raced out to a 6-0 lead early but some timely baskets by Erol Besincioglu, Audin Steiger, and Alex Ma put the Reds back in the lead.  Elliot Ma was the defensive star of the team and played most of his minutes guarding the Pirates best player.  Lara Masood did a great job of rebounding the ball along with Jonathan Watson.  Leo Esptein played the big man role for the Reds and scored a number of baskets including a very nice turnaround from about 13 feet.  Siena Schickler played team basketball and often looked to pass to the open player.  This was a hard earned victory for the Reds.  Great job!  Submitted by Coach Michael Ma

The Dodgers Cam Pariser is matched up with Noah McLaurin of the Rockies.  Photo by Craig Pariser.

The Brewers opened up their Bantam League schedule with a hard fought 12-8 victory over the formidable Cardinals team. Defense and hustle were things we worked on from the very first practice, and all the kids worked together to play some great D for the entire game. On the offensive end, the Brewers were led by Player of the Game Sebastian Jukanovic who led our team with 8 points in addition to 7 rebounds and 2 steals. He was helped by the strong play Noah Weinerman with 2 points and 4 rebounds and Noah Hagooli-Bolanos who contributed 2 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Submitted by Coach Bill Kravitz

Cubs take on the Diamondbacks in Bantam league action

The Cardinals opened the regular season against the Brewers.  Both teams played well in a tightly fought contest that featured good defense and team passing.  The Brewers jumped out to an early lead in the first half, and although the Cardinals out scored the Brewers in the second half, time ran out, and the Brewers won 12-8.  Conor Durcan had his first basket ever in Bantams, and Jenson Montague scored his first Bantam point with a made free throw.  Rayan Etemadnia had a basket, Monika Diaz had 3 points, and Dominic Drew had multiple assists.  Aiden Harvey and Miles Franklin had multiple rebounds in a good defensive effort by the Cardinals.  We had many shots, but the rim was acting naughty, and spitting the ball out.  But good to see many opportunities being had, and good teamwork displayed.  Submitted by Coach Paul Drew

Cardinals Coach Paul Drew shows his team how to set up their defense.  Photo by Declan Durcan
The Cubs Bella van Bilderbeek launches a shot against the Cardinals defense.  Photo by Apolonia Drew

The Reds Erol Besincioglu drives down the court, in Bantam league action versus the Pirates.  Photo by Noelle Lewis

The Reds Erol Besincioglu drives down the court, in Bantam league action versus the Pirates. Photo by Noelle Lewis

The Cardinals rebounded from a heartbreaking defeat on Saturday to take lessons learned, and come out victorious on Sunday in their match against the all girls team, the Cubs.  Unfortunately for the Cubs, we have a girl on our team, and her name is Monika Diaz, who not only scored two buckets with her markswoman shooting skills, but stifled the Cubs offense with her pursuit of any Cubs dribbler, making it difficult for them to set up their offense.  Miles Franklin had his first Bantam basket ever, and snagged down rebounds, along with great defensive play and ball control from teammates Conor Durcan and Aiden Harvey.  Rayan Etemadnia was not only a force on defense, but delivered multiple assists on great passing.  But the real excitement was provided by Dominic Drew who had 2 assists and 3 baskets, including an amazing buzzer beater swish shot at the end of the first quarter that had the crowd going wild.  Overall, the Cardinals had six players that passed well, dribbled well, played defense well, and rebounded well.  In other words, “Job well done!”  Submitted by Coach Paul Drew

Diamondbacks Ben Steelman with his “Player of the Game” award.

Bantam Padres:  In a tough loss on Sunday, the Padres showed a true team effort with the whole team participating.  With only six players at the game – everyone worked hard and hustled to the very end. The Padres are skilled at getting the ball into every team member’s hands and several shots were taken by different players.  Active defense was seen by Kingston Andes, Ethan Pages and Sampson Robinson.  Strong offense was offered by James Cook, Jake Kazerani and Parker Keslow. Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow

The Padres James Cook drives to the hoop.  Photo by Kerri Keslow.
The Giants Vihaan Nawathe sizes up the Pirates defense.


The Rangers Eddie Stein penetrates the Tigers defense.  Photo by Kerri Keslow

Minors Rangers:  A solid team effort helped propel the Rangers to a win on Saturday.  Sean Saunders and Marc Papazian were instrumental in shutting down the middle and blocking several shots.  Grey Broderick, Finn Raih and Matteo Polster were also strong on defense and team passing.  Offensively Eddie Stein, Weston Keslow, Jonathan Shu and Ronin Sullivan shined.  Submitted by Kerri Keslow

Game 2 for the Mets really came together for them as a team.
Every player showed up on the stats sheet.  Evan Chang and Roberto Sierra led the team in scoring.  Leo Mooney was distributing the ball like a minor league veteran.  Jack Phelan was a defensive force.  Jace O’Brien had a strong overall game leading the team in rebounding along with Jack Nash.  Khalo Lemond played aggressive defense and had a fantastic jump-shot go in.  Strong passing and good team basketball helped the Mets to their first win of the year.  Submitted by Coach Brian Phelan


The Rangers Jason Tun leaps high into the air against the Royals defense.  Photo by Nick Toren

The A’s started slow, but built a small half time lead before finishing the game off in the 4th. They were led by Bruno Brunachhi’s 21 points, 2 assists and 3 steals.  Coming off a 18-14 lead, the Mariners cut their deficit to 2 points before the A’s were able to finish things off late in the game.   The A’s also had strong contributions from Sebastian Ramirez (5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) and Keean Stoll (7 points, 3 rebounds). Submitted by Coach Brent Stoll

The Royals Griffin Pine sinks the three pointer against the Rangers.  Photo by Lala Aghayeva

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 features a special fan, Peter or as all of us at the Santa Monica YMCA know him, “Mr. President”

Peter has been a long time member of the YMCA, and always greets everyone he meets with a hello and a smile.  Personally, I always give him a salute and say hello “Mr. President”, to which he salutes back.

You can often find Peter checking out the youth basketball games, because he’s a big fan of basketball, and a very good shooter himself.  I watch him shoot baskets in the gym, and he shoots just like Steph Curry, and has the same high percentage of made shots.

I asked “Mr. President” a few questions:

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about watching youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Mr. President:  I really enjoy seeing all the kids have a good time, and the games are exciting to watch.  The kids are all learning how to get along with each other, and work as a team.

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about basketball?

Mr. President:  Definitely shooting the ball, because I shoot very well, and I had coaches teach me how to shoot.  I can dribble and pass too, but shooting is my favorite because I can concentrate and focus, and see my result, which makes me happy.

DocDrew:  Any advice for young players?

Mr. President:  Never give up, keep trying, keep playing, and you will make baskets, and keep having fun whether you play with a team, or just shoot baskets by yourself.

Thanks Peter, or Mr. President.  Next time you come into the Santa Monica YMCA, and you see Mr. President, give him a salute and hello.  He’s a very special fan.

Mr. President showing proper form on his shot.


Saturday, January 19th


Orioles 5, Twins 2


Diamondbacks 12, Cubs 6

Pirates 16, Reds 21

Brewers 12, Cardinals 8


White Sox 20, Nationals 26

Rangers 29, Tigers 14


Athletics 37, Mariners 28

Rangers 32, Royals 33

Sunday, January 20th


Red Sox 10, Rays 16

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 14


Rockies 2, Dodgers 16

Padres 13, Diamondbacks 15

Pirates 16, Giants 14

Cubs 8, Cardinals 12


Phillies 15, Mets 30

Marlins 17, Nationals 25


No games scheduled


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


Orioles 2-0-0, 10 points

Rays 2-0-0, 10 points

Red Sox 1-1-0, 6 points

Yankees 1-1-0, 6 points

Twins 0-2-0, 2 points

Blue Jays 0-2-0, 2 points


Diamondbacks 2-0-0, 10 points

Dodgers 1-0-1, 8 points

Giants 1-1-0, 6 points

Pirates 1-1-0, 6 points

Cardinals 1-1-0, 6 points

Brewers 1-0-0, 5 points

Reds 1-0-0, 5 points

Padres 0-1-1, 4 points

Rockies 0-2-0, 2 points

Cubs 0-2-0, 2 points


Nationals 2-0-0, 10 points

Marlins 1-1-0, 6 points

Phillies 1-1–0, 6 points

Mets 1-1-0, 6 points

Rangers 1-0-0, 5 points

Braves 0-1-0, 1 point

White Sox 0-1-0, 1 point

Tigers 0-1-0, 1 point


Astros 1-0-0, 5 points

Rangers 1-0-0, 5 points

Athletics 1-0-0, 5 points

Angels  0-0-1, 1 point

Mariners 0-1-0, 1 point

Rangers 0-1-0, 1 point

Upcoming schedule

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







Thank you very much,

Dr. Paul Drew, assistant youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA,  editor and publisher of Swish

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