Our Lady of Malibu basketball is progressing

Dribble by dribble, shot by shot, the Our Lady of Malibu Bulldogs basketball team is improving this season. 

Daryl Adams, the Catholic school team’s coach, said the 15-member squad of boys ages 10 to 13 are practicing hard daily despite losing their first two games.

“Every week, we have scored more points than before,” he said. “We are scoring more points and putting together a team concept — passing the ball and playing with each other. That is the beauty of the game. You find pleasure in the small wins within that game. That is what matters.” 

The Bulldogs, many of whom are playing an organized sport for the first time, began their season with a 50-8 loss to Saint Mel on Jan. 23. The squad struggled in the first half, but improved their play after halftime. Our Lady of Malibu was also downed 41-10 on Feb. 1 by an opponent. The team played against St. Jude The Apostle School of Westlake Village on Monday and has five more games in their eight-week season. 

Adams, also the physical education teacher at Our Lady of Malibu, stated that most of the teams the Bulldogs play against have rosters dominated by seventh- and eighth-graders. The coach explained that the Bulldogs’ players are striving to improve. 

“The kids want to have those individual wins,” Adams explained. “For example, if one kid didn’t score last week, they will want to score in the next game. So, I encourage them to do that. Take shots. Don’t be afraid to miss or afraid to mess up. Enjoy the moment.”  

The team is composed of fifth- to eighth-graders. 

The players include Freddie Felten, Alex Dermenjian, Jake Wells, Logan Burke, Atticus Sparks, Declan Vaughn, Bertie Merkell, Fin Wells, Jaxson Nenejian, Christopher Dermenjian, Charlie Nenejlan, Lars Stapeburg, London Hettich, Bobby Anderson, and Caghton Hale. 

Adams noted that Our Lady of Malibu hasn’t had a basketball team in several years, but he hopes Malibuites will support the Bulldogs. Athletics, he said, builds character. 

“Sports helps improve things you don’t really think about: time management, team building, working together,” Adams stated. “All those things are what I am looking forward to.” 

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