Wolfpack basketball team to have its guards up

By John Molene
Posted 11/29/23

While it’s hard to predict how Park will fare this boys basketball season, the Wolfpack will certainly have their guards up.

Head coach Mike Weah enters his seventh season directing the …

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Wolfpack basketball team to have its guards up


While it’s hard to predict how Park will fare this boys basketball season, the Wolfpack will certainly have their guards up.

Head coach Mike Weah enters his seventh season directing the Wolfpack with a host of experienced guards returning, but not much size or experience in the post.

“We’re not going to be that tall but what we do have going for us is a lot of guys that were in the rotation last year,” said Weir. “I think we bring six guys back who were somewhat in the rotation last year. When you play in a conference like we do -- the Suburban East is one of the tougher conferences in the Metro -- it’s good that they have that experience going in. They’re a year older. A lot of those guys, last year it was half sophomores and half juniors, and now we’re looking like half juniors and half seniors. That’s a key point when you’re trying to grow and become a good high school team to have the youth on your side and still have that experience.”

Park went 9-17 overall last season, including 5-13 in the Suburban East Conference, finishing ninth.

Missing from this year’s lineup will be two of Park’s top three scorers from a year ago in guards OT Omot (16.2 ppg.) and David Ola-Kazim (10.6 ppg), along with starting forward Henry Schluetter (5.1 ppg).

Veterans returning for the Wolfpack include guards Miskar Esayas, AJ Kennedy, Tayvion Stewart, Anthony Giadyu, Kaeden Callais and forwards Dom Batts, Evan Brummond and Cole West. Forward Max Wilkerson comes in as a transfer from Rosemount.

“I’m really excited about this season,” said Weir. “I don’t want to say we’ll shock a lot of people, but I feel that this team is just really an ideal team that I would love to coach. Just the attitude and the determination that I feel they’re going to bring every night. The tenacity, the heart, guys picking each other up when they’re down. I just feel that this group is going to be – the chemistry is already above where we’ve had it in the past.”

Kennedy is the top returning scorer with an 11.5 points per game average last season. Esayas averaged 7.1 ppg and Giadyu was at 6.4 ppg.

“I think our strengths are most definitely we can run faster than most teams that we play against,” said Kennedy. “I feel that our team has no weaknesses. We’ve just got to keep playing together as a team.”

“We’re going to force teams that put in their big men, thinking that they can expose us, but we’ll be ready for them,” said Kennedy when asked how the Wolfpack could compensate for their lack of size. “My expectation for the team is to have a really good winning season and we should have a lot of games in March.”

The big weakness for the Wolfpack is obvious, a lack of size up front. Strengths should be speed.

“We’ve got to get creative on the defensive side on how we try to stop you,” said Weir. “We’ve got to use some things to our advantage. But we feel we’re a pretty fast team. Last year we started getting into it where we were able to hang in a lot of games because we were just faster. We played scrappy defense. So, this year I say with them having more experience playing that way, as confident as they are right now, our strength is going to be that we’re going to try to run you out as much as we can. We going to try and make you play guard five guys on the offensive end and we’ll see how the games fair out.”

Weir sees the conference race as very balanced this season.

“I expect our team to have a good winning season, play together and get some wins,” said junior point guard Giadyu. “Right now, I think we’re a very fast-paced team. I think that we can get the ball in transitions very well. I think what we lack right now is our defensive rebounding. I think when we patch that up we’ll be very solid.”

Park opens the season Monday, Dec. 4, at South St. Paul, starting at 7 p.m. The Wolfpack’s first home game will be against Cretin-Derham Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 12.