Boys Basketball Bounces Back with New Coach


Photo by Kimia Shahidi

The freshmen and sophomores from the remarkable CCS victory two years ago are now the core of the varsity boys basketball team as seasoned juniors and seniors. It is that time of year again, with head coach Trevor Naas bringing new energy to the team and the Eagles looking to fly high. Drawing from his years of coaching experience, the new coach hopes to guide the team forward.

Naas played basketball all four years in high school, and his positive experience with the program prompted him to become a coach himself. Over the years, he has coached the frosh-soph team at Branham High School in San Jose and the frosh-soph and varsity teams at Saratoga High School. Now, coming to Los Altos, Naas is excited for the year ahead.

“For me, moving schools, everything is new this year,” Naas said. “I’m working with a new administration, new staff [and] new players. I’m looking at this as a great learning opportunity and a way to grow as a coach and to have an opportunity to work with different student athletes, so it will definitely be a year of growth for me that [I will] look forward to.

Naas’ philosophy for coaching has always centered around creating a positive experience for the players. He believes that the values he instills in the team will have a lasting impression on players on and off the court in the future.

“One of our new coach’s big things is having fun during practice, having high energy all the time, having a loud gym,” team captain senior Adam Rosenbaum said. “And I think that’s huge for team chemistry rather than practice being like another class where it’s all about do this, do this, do this, don’t do this.”

In addition to Naas’ focus on positivity, he also hopes to develop team chemistry and establish a system of accountability that can provide constructive criticism while maintaining a sense of respect among players.

“This summer, I got a chance to start working with these guys in summer league and summer practices, and as a team we came up with four [core values]: respect, responsibility, resilience and unity,” Naas said. “I’m looking for players that have a good team attitude. I’m looking for guys who grasp the team concept and who do what’s right for the team rather than themselves. And I think when you get a roster for a bunch of those types of guys that are willing to work hard for each other, those are the types of teams that I’ve had the most success with.”

During offseason practice in the summer, the team watched films of their games in the past season. Instead of focusing on the court itself, Naas told the boys to keep an eye out for their body language toward teammates and referees in negative situations such as turnovers or fouls.

“Guys are [sometimes] really getting on each other on kind of a negative way, and [that] kind of culture is toxic,” Adam said. “So it’s really cool to see an emphasis and to see literal video of us reacting to plays and how that affects things. And one of Coach Naas’ big things is that it’s not what you did. If you miss a layup, you were not trying to miss a layup. It’s a mistake, but it’s really more about how you respond to that play and carry on to the next one.”

Overall, Naas’ positive energy seems to resonate with most of the players. With this season’s roster of almost entirely veteran juniors and seniors, junior Matt Eberle sees the new coach’s emphasis on team chemistry as something that will bring the team to the next level.

“I think we can do really well in Leagues this year,” Matt said. “I think we have a great roster, a lot of experience, and that’s an upside. I think we have six or seven seniors and a lot of juniors that played last year… We have a big emphasis on team chemistry, high fives and picking each other when we’re down [and] hustling. It’s just all the little things [that we’re focusing on].”

By combining the value of individual growth with the larger scope of success as a team, Naas claims that the team will be able to reach its full potential collectively.

“I’m really excited to work with these guys,” Naas said. “I think that there’s some really promising talent on this team, so my main goal is to see that come together and to have them really grasp the team concept and play together on the court. And if we can do that, I think we have a chance at a very successful season.”