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DocDrew’s Swish Issue 1, Volume 3

Welcome to the first issue of volume three 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.

We Spring forward

Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball kicked off the start of the Spring season with all teams having a practice/scrimmage this past Saturday, and the Bantams and Minors had their first regular season matches on Sunday.  This season, all teams are named after dog breeds in honor of our youth basketball coordinator Christian Gonzalez becoming a veterinarian technician.

The breeds as per league:

Rookies:  Chihuahuas, Maltese, Yorkies, Terriers, Pugs, Doxies

Bantams:  Pinschers, Scotties, Schnauzers, Shelties, Beagles, Bassets, Corgies, Spaniels

Minors:  Collies, Dalmations, Pointers, Wolfhounds, Whippets, Labs, Akitas, Setters

Majors:  Danes, Boxers, Airedales, Greyhounds, Malamutes, Mastiffs, Dobies, Shepherds

As you may be able to see, the higher the league, the bigger the dog breed, so when a player is in the Majors, that player is now playing with the big dogs.  If you are interested in adopting a pet from the Santa Monica animal shelter, please visit to get more information.

9 Things You Need to Know About the Origins of Basketball


It was a soccer ball.

2. THE MORE THE MERRIER.           

Nowhere in the original rules is the number of players per side specified. James Naismith, who had been asked to invent an indoor winter activity by his boss at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, wanted a game adaptable enough to include whoever wanted to play. For a while the crowd on the court was a default 18, nine per side, because that’s how many showed up for the first game. In 1897, though, the starting five was formalized, and substitutions allowed. But it wasn’t until 1920 that a replaced starter could return to a game—just once—and not until 1945 that unlimited substitutions became the rule.


In the beginning, a player could not advance the ball himself. Rather, he had to throw it from wherever he caught it. The first team credited with advancing the ball by dribbling it played at Yale in 1897. (The same Yale that made this year’s NCAA Tournament, for the first time since 1962.) Leave it to Ivy Leaguers to re-interpret the passing rule to include a bounce pass to a player himself. Official allowances for the dribble—just one per possession initially—were adopted four years later.


Shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or otherwise striking an opponent was never OK. But such offenses weren’t recorded as personal fouls until 1910, with the advent of a rule disqualifying a player for committing four of them. That total was raised to five in 1946, in the inaugural rules of the Basketball Association of America (the original name of the National Basketball Association), and to six the next year.


The original description of what constituted a goal—“when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there”—held until 1913, when open-ended nets replaced closed, woven cast-iron rims (which had replaced peach baskets in the mid-1890s).


When the ball landed out of bounds, possession was determined by throwing it down court and seeing which team touched it first. That’s one wrinkle Naismith didn’t quite think through; scrambles to be first to the ball resulted in seriously injurious confrontations. Thus, the rule change in 1913, giving the ball to whichever team hadn’t touched it last.


That’s because one of the official duties of early refs was timekeeping. Then again, there wasn’t that much time to keep: the 24-second shot clock wasn’t instituted until 1954, to combat stalling tactics NBA teams had begun to employ.


Naismith envisioned two 15-minute halves, with five minutes’ rest between. When the BAA was formed in 1946, the two halves were rejiggered as four quarters of 12 minutes each to give fans more ball for their buck.


In the case of a tie, Naismith stipulated that the game could be continued “by agreement of the captains” until one more goal was made.It wasn’t until the 1960s that such sudden death gave way to a five-minute overtime period.

From: “On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games”


Rookie scrimmage between the Maltese and Pugs ends in handshakes

This past Saturday we had our first scrimmage game vs. the Doxies. This game was a lot of fun since coach Josh and his daughter Juney were part of our team last season. We decided to play 30 minutes with 5 minutes substitutions. We started slow since most our team members have never played with one another before. We open the score with a nice shot from Louis Meehan who is our best long range shooting guard. After some time, the Doxies came back to tie the game with a nice layup. After working quite hard, we did a 3 passes play that resulted in Zander Chin taking an open shot close to the basket so we went up again. Doxies continued fighting and they score another big shot to tie the game. Special shout out to the brothers James and Richard Haro who were playing really hard on defense, recovering a lot of loose balls and distributing the ball to their teammates. Dechen Lemond and Diego Gonzalez played very hard on defense and offense but unfortunately all shoots they took went out. Finally with 10 seconds on the clock the Doxies got the rebound and quickly ran the fast break to take a buzzer beater and win the game on the last second. It was a great game and all of us had a lot of fun. Congrats to coach Josh and the Doxies, we look forward to more of these amazing last second victory games during the season.  Submitted by Coach Armando Gonzalez

The Doxies had our first game-like experience this week with a scrimmage against our bitter rivals, the Chihuahuas! Everybody got jerseys and had a great time… highlights include Daniel Gruft’s unorthodox ball-handling, gutsy first-ever appearances of Mae and Maia Jones, that smothering Juney defense that is her signature, great ball movement from Ollie Harris, amazing sprints up and down the court by Roman Sweeney, gutsy drives (and collisions) by Aidan Smith, and of course the last-second basket by Nicco Balerini(along with his earlier two scores) to put us over the top 6-4 (not that we were keeping score). First time coach Josh was fortunate to be assisted by league veteran, Coach Peter Harris. It’s still early, but the Doxies look well-positioned to storm into the playoffs this season.  Submitted by Coach Josh Jones

Rookie Pugs warming up before their scrimmage.  Photo by Josh Wakefield

Rookie Scrimmage Terriers vs Yorkies
In this preseason scrimmage game, both teams looked good.  Baseball season took a toll during the 1st half of game for the Terriers have half its team on the same little league squad and their Saturday game overlapped with the scrimmage.  By second half Terriers had near all its players. With no stats or official score being recorded, the focus was more on getting the 1st season players used to getting back and forth on offense and defense and learning the flow of a real game, while the veterans got to help set the pace.  Yorkies looked solid with some familiar veterans plus the new comers and Terriers as well looking and feeling confident to have some fun and make some serious noise this Spring season! Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes


The Beagles Veronica Machala shoots over the Schnauzers defense.  Photo by Apolonia Drew

Our Scotties kicked off the Spring Y Basketball season early on Sunday with a matchup against the Corgies who shot the ball well early and jumped out to an quick 8-2 lead. But showing true fight, the Scotties fought back led by our Bantam veteran Ben Steelman who not only scored 6 points, but pulled down an incredible 19 rebounds as well having as 8 steals. He was assisted by Dylan Kravitz who had 4 points (a day after leading our team in our scrimmage with 14 points), Brandon Israel who had 3 points and Teddy Chang and Luke Steelman who had 8 and 7 rebounds respectively. The game came down to the 4th quarter with the Corgies clinging to a 1 point lead. We had some close shots late in the game that just missed going in and ultimately the Corgies pulled ahead and won an exciting hard fought contest 17-13.  Submitted by Coach Bill Kravitz

The Beagles Noah Hagooli-Bolaños drives to the hoop, as the Schnauzers Miles Franklin looks to block the shot.  Photo by Apolonia Drew

The Beagles have landed!  The season got off to an promising start last weekend for Coach Sean’s newest batch of orange hoop stars as the eight girl and two boy squad held off the feisty Schnauzers to pick up their first “W”.  Veronica Marchala dropped two baskets and received Player of The Game honors from both her team and the league director in the 20- 18 victory. The Beagles (1-0) got out to an early lead before briefly falling behind late in the third quarter. The Schnauzers had an opportunity to tie the game with six free throws at the end of regulation, but came up just short.  Scarlett Harris dropped in her first Bantam League basket. The Beagles were also aided by sharp shooting from Taylor Summers, Noah Hagooli-Bolanos and Jacopo Stabilini. Team Captain Daisy Seigler — the tallest and oldest player on the orange bench — missed her team’s opener but is expected to return when the Beagle lace ‘em up against the Shelties on March 31. Submitted by Coach Sean Daly

Scrimmage action between the Shelties and Corgies.  Photo by Mark Shickler

The Corgies kicked off the season with an exciting game against the Scotties. The teams were well matched and it went down to the final wire. Ultimately the Corgies to emerged victorious 16 – 13 thanks to a true team effort. Vihaan Nawathe, Jordan Blum, Sammy Levi, and Jonathan Watson led the team offensively with lots of quick passes and baskets. Defensively Amir Enayati, Annika Cook, Kammie Chen, Chase Jenkins, and Delilah Holsey effectively held the Scotties to 13 points. All in all it was a great first game and the Corgies are definitely ready for their next match up.  Submitted by Coach Caroline Byfield

‘Player of the Game” Annika Cook of the Corgies.  Photo by Caroline Byfield

Pinschers versus Spaniels:  This was a tough game for the Pinschers, as Coach Karim Mikhail had only 5 players to start versus the very good Spaniels team.  To make matters worse, several of the Pinschers were under the weather. Many of the rest of the team was also out due to illness.  Ryan Drew had his first Bantam basket ever, and scoring also came from Michael Mikhail and Desi Parra. But the star for the Pinschers was Jenson Montague who had multiple baskets, rebounds, and steals, and had his best game ever.  The Spaniels were very dominant with scoring and playmaking from Gavin O’Brien and Noah McLaurin. The Spaniels Alex Segil has shown incredible improvement in his overall game play thanks to the excellent coaching of Tony McLaurin. A dominant win for the Spaniels who look to go far this season.  Submitted by DocDrew

The Shelties Ruby Karlov shoots over the Bassets defense.  Photo by Mark Shickler

Team Basset had a tough loss but played a very strong game this past weekend. Started off with a rocky start with getting points on the board but the kids made a strong effort on defense and rebounding. We started to bounce back in the second half but as usually time was against us. Chloe and Leo were playing a dominating defense. They both guarded there opposing player like glue and would always be in their face to stop them. We had an awesome rebounding group of Erol and Ethan staying ready under the paint waiting to grab rebound off of shots attempted. Cassius was dominate stealing machine with ripping the ball out of everyone when he had the chance. I want to also say I am proud of Iwa and Oliver for playing the point. They had it tough but would driving in lanes and cause double teams to make another player open. Constantine had great opportunities with shots but they wouldn’t fall. The Bassets had an awesome effort running back on defense and make sure to try to stop the fast breaks. I want to give the kids a lot of credit for playing a phenomenal game and putting 110% out on the court.  Submitted by Coach Christian Gonzalez

Schnauzers versus Beagles on Opening Day.  Photos by Declan Durcan

Shelties were fortunate enough to win their first game versus the Bassetts.  With only 5 players available to start the game due to the LA Marathon traffic, the Shelties were short handed particularly when fouls started to add up.  Luckily, traffic abated and the Shelties finished the game with all but one player on the roster. Congratulations to Rayan Etemadnia and Wiley Scheflen on a strong game.  Congratulations to the team on the lock down 2 3 zone defense. Submitted by Coach Doug Trussler

“Player of the Game” Rayan Etemadnia of the Shelties, having his photo taken with DocDrew.  Photo by Amir Etemadnia

Sunday March 24, 2019
First game of the season, wow what a great game, beautifully played by both teams !!! No brakes from Schnauzers head to head game.  Beagles great team work, every single player put the heart into it , pleasure to watch 🙂 Scarlet Harris got her first basket in her first bantams game picture above proud parents 🙂 also Veronica Machala got her player of the game recognition!! Go Beagles !!!  Score Beagles won 20 to 18 with Schnauzers! Photos and summary by Izabella Jakuc

Bantam action between the Shelties and Bassets.  Photo by Christian Gonzalez


London Coleman’s return to the Y after 2 seasons and she returned with a bang, she got player of the game and looks forward to many more.  Photo by Melissa Diego

Minor League action between the Wolfhounds and Whippets.  Photos by Tom Chambers

The Labs first game was a fast paced, action filled affair. The team showed great speed and dribbling skills over four quarters. Defense was strong and the entire team worked together. James Cook, Jack Carter and Parker Keslow showed fine defensive moves while Zoe Debenning was an outstanding rebounder. Offensively Leo Mooney, Weston Keslow, Max Brown and Eddie Stein contributed greatly.  Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow

The Labs Leo Mooney was ‘‘Player of the Game” for his excellent all around
game.  Photo by Rebecca Golden
Zoe Debenning blocks and steals the ball for the Labs.  Photo by Kerri Keslow

The Pointers won our first game 33 – 15. We focused on defense as our key to victory.  We rebounded well and covered our defensive assignments.
The player of the game was Monika Diaz who played excellent defense and scored a few key baskets to set the offensive tone.  We look forward to game #2. Submitted by Coach Elan Mevasse

The Pointers Monika Diaz celebrates her “Player of the Game” award with her sister Lily.


The official practice games are always a good barometer to see what your team is doing well and what they need to work on.  With only 5 players able to make it for our Greyhounds, we were limited in what we could work on, but we did look relatively sharp for pre-season against the Danes.  Evan Daghighian and Timosha Moncher supplied plenty of offense on everything from lay-ups to 3-pointers and Amir Jahromi was a beast in the paint. We had excellent supporting performances from Oliver Ghiassi and Jonathan Lin, as they played well on defense and set screens to open space for Evan and Timosha. It was a very good start for our Greyhounds.  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 the Haberli family. Father Ralph has been gracious to fill in as a coach at various games through the past few seasons, and mother Jessica proudly supports her boys Stellan and Theo.  Stellan is playing his first season at the Santa Monica YMCA in the Rookie league. Theo is one of the best players at the Santa Monica YMCA, having won the Rookie MVP in 2018 Winter season, All First Team honors for the 2018-19 basketball year, and is now playing in the Minors where he was All First Team this previous Winter 2019 season.  Theo is not just a great player, but exemplifies exceptional sportsmanship on and off the court, and is a player that his entire team enjoys playing with, and is popular among the rest of the league. Many of his baskets are “Swish” shots, and a thing of beauty to watch.

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

Stellan and Theo:  What we enjoy most about playing bball at the Y is getting to meet new people and having new teammates.  It’s fun to get to know your team and play games together, and play against the same kids every season.

DocDrew:  What are your most memorable moments in your basketball career at The YMCA?

Theo: My most memorable moment was stepping on to the court for the final game in Rookies.  We were playing for an undefeated season.

DocDrew:  Who are your favorite players and why?

Theo and Stellan: Theo’s favorite player is D’Angelo Russell – the family moved from Brooklyn to Santa Monica 2 years ago, and he is still a Nets fan.  Stellan’s favorite player is Montrezl Harrell on the Clippers – he’s a great defender and dunker, and fun to watch.

DocDrew:  What do enjoy most about having your boys play basketball at the YMCA?

Ralph and Jessica:  Basketball at the Y has been great for Theo and now Stellan to learn the game, learn to play on a team and learn how to compete.  The environment that Peter set, and Christian and Paul continue, is focused on what it’s all about – the kids having fun!

Stellan and Theo proudly wearing their Santa Monica YMCA basketball jerseys.  Photo by Ralph Haberli

We are very lucky to have the Haberli family be part of our youth basketball program at the Santa Monica YMCA, and continue to thank them for all their support and contributions.



Sunday, March 24th, 2019









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.


Chihuahuas 0-0-0                                            

Doxies 0-0-0                                         

Maltese 0-0-0                                            

Pugs 0-0-0                                             

Terriers 0-0-0                                         

Yorkies 0-0-0


Corgies 1-0-0                                         

Beagles 1-0-0                                        

Spaniels 1-0-0                                        

Shelties 1-0-0                                        

Pinscher 0-1-0                                         

Schnauzers 0-1-0                                        

Scotties 0-1-0                                        

Bassets 0-1-0


Whippets 1-0-0                                             

Labs 1-0-0                                             

Pointers 1-0-0                                             

Akitas 1-0-0                                             

Dalmatians 0-1-0                                         

Wolfhounds 0-1-0                                         

Setters 0-1-0                                         

Collies 0-1-0


Danes 0-0-0                                             

Shepherds 0-0-0                                         

Greyhounds 0-0-0                                         

Mastiffs 0-0-0                                         

Boxers 0-0-0                                         

Dobies 0-0-0                                         

Malamutes 0-0-0                                         

Airedales 0-0-0

Upcoming schedule

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









4:20 PM        YORKIES VS PUGS












3:10 PM        DOBIES VS DANES




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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