Winning twenty games in a season is an impressive accomplishment for any high school basketball team, and while the Pleasantville boys accomplished that this past season, it was their unity on the court that made for a special ride.
“The kids – Hunter Van Haalen especially – kind of adopted the mantra of ‘family’. Every time I got done with my talks, I’d let him take over, and being the great senior leader he was, he’d always say ‘one, two, three FAMILY’ [to break the huddle],” said Pleasantville boys’ head coach Tom Wilkins.
“And I guess I don’t have any one specific favorite moment, but it’s that – seeing us come together – and I truly believe coming together as a family. Just to see those kids buy into the fact that we’re a team and it’s a team effort. Some of those seniors lost some playing time to some freshmen, and for them to be on the bench cheering those guys on – that’s no better evidence of us being a family than that right there.”
Van Haalen headlined an athletic crew of six seniors that played their final basketball games for the Trojans this season. Pleasantville’s 20-4 record was the program’s first 20-win season since 1989.