VASJ Vikings Basketball 2020-21 Official Thread

C'Town216

Well-known member
Usually I post this once football season gets underway but due to quarantine and the crazy news that began back in late February there has been some news. Below is a quick recap of a forgetful 2019-20 campaign.

Vikes finish with worst record in recent memory at 8-15

2/22: NCL and member schools announced that the 19/20 season was the last year for the league as teams will play as independents starting the 2020/21 school year

2/25: VASJ announces HC Babe Kwasniak suspension time due to insubordinate conduct towards an admin then falls in the Sectional Semi’s for the first time ever, ends a district final appearance that dates back to 2005, and snaps the schools 7 straight District titles and Regional appearances.

2/26: HC Babe Kwasniak fired due to insubordinate conduct towards an Admin leaving some backlash towards AD Elvis Grbac.

3/5 Bill Cervenik resigns as school president.

5/6: Grbac announces the hiring of Orange HS’s basketball coach Ashen Ward VASJ c/o 2008 as (I believe) the 7th Head Coach in program history. Played under Dave Wojciechowski from 2005-08 and was a key member of the 2006 State Runner Up team and the 2007, 2008 Final Four teams.

July: VASJ announces Grbac steps away from AD role to focus on coaching football and running the MUSP program. Adi Taraska takes over as AD.

With a drama filled season behind us and the hopes that we will be able to pack the Viking Village come December once the Covid-19 pandemic is hopefully contained, we shall see how this new era comes about and many having good feelings that the program is in good hands and will continue the successful tradition of VASJ basketball. Once details of the schedule come out, I’ll post them right here. Stay safe everyone!
 
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Bball216

Well-known member
He transferred to Warrensville Heights who have now been bumped up to D2. Players have the right to do what they want - good luck at Heights. He could have finished his Viking career as the all time leading scorer.
 

C'Town216

Well-known member
Come this winter, the court at The Palace will have a slightly different look this season. Clark’s 32 number color has been changed from blue to red, the addition of the block V logo in the corners near mid court, and script Vikings no longer below the foul line.
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cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Along with Hameed going to Warrensville, Jonah Waag has transferred to Mentor. The top two returning players from a group that really had a forgettable season are gone. Makes Ward's job that much tougher.
 

C'Town216

Well-known member
Along with Hameed going to Warrensville, Jonah Waag has transferred to Mentor. The top two returning players from a group that really had a forgettable season are gone. Makes Ward's job that much tougher.
Agreed, it won’t be an easy year, it will take a couple of seasons to grow, just the negativity that hung over the team last year is hopefully gone and knowing Ash, I feel he will help get these kids ready to compete and continue to build on the success of the past decade under both previous regimes and leave his mark on the program.
 

Bball216

Well-known member
Hameed is a big loss. He deserved to finish his career as a Viking. With Warrensville being D2 he still will have SVSM to deal with if the Tigers make it that far. Maybe Coach K can get Waag to fly straight and reach his potential. There are not many schools that work as hard as VASJ in practice - Mentor is definitely one of them. Waag is going to have to earn everything he gets. Good Luck to both of them.
 

Bball216

Well-known member
As for the schedule- it's a bit watered down. That is expected when you are in a rebuild. The cupboard is a bit bare. You could see last year how much the squad struggled on both ends of the floor. Last season was the first time in a long time the team did not fit the Joe's MO. It was really a one person show with a bunch of supporting players. Ash will need to restock the talent and it might take a year or two. Joe's is still Joe's and kids will want to play there - he just has to find the right kids willing to buy into his program. The previous coach had to do the same thing when many were hearing how the school was going to close, etc. If the previous staff could bring in the elite talent it did during those times - Ash will be able to do it now. I expect Ed's might show up on the final schedule but I also do not see any out of town tournaments - that could just be Covid related. I'm excited to see what the future holds - the shoes Ash is filling are pretty big as is the expectations.
 
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