Pastel green, bright orange, pink.
The Riverhead Blue Waves bring more color to the basketball court than just blue and white. Some of the Blue Wears wear sneakers that, let’s just say, aren’t traditional.
At least three Riverhead players — junior guards John Davide and Jacob Wilkinson and sophomore guard TayShaun Hawkins — wear Sour Patch Curry sneakers, part of the Steph Curry Collection.
“I like them,” Wilkinson said. “A good look.”
It really doesn’t seem like that long ago when players wore the same sneakers as their teammates.
“Back in the day it used to be everyone wanted to wear team shoes,” Riverhead coach John Rossetti said. “Now it’s more like, who can have the most outlandish shoes? And I think if you looked at our guys as a whole, we probably have 13 different pairs of shoes. We have some funky shoes out there. Now it’s kind of like that’s how they show their individuality.”
The important thing is they play like a team, but they show their individuality with their footwear.
Who could have predicted that Riverhead would win 11 of its first 15 games this season and be in contention for the Suffolk County League II championship with Commack and Bay Shore?
Not even John Rossetti could have expected that.
“I would say the season as a whole has been a pleasant surprise,” he said. “I mean, I knew we had some pieces, but did we think we were going to be this good in November? Probably not, but to the kids’ credit, they’re working hard each and every day, and they’re getting better.
“The kids don’t quit. Aside from two lopsided games we played in, the kids don’t quit. They play every second of the game, which makes it hard on teams. We’re wearing teams down.”
With the exception of one game, Riverhead’s starting lineup has remained the same with point guard A.J. Johnson, wings Jacob Wilkinson and Jahquel Blount and Albert Daniels and Shammond Henry. “We call them forwards, but they’re not really forwards, they’re our bigger guards,” Rossetti said of Daniels and Henry.
Who has been playing really well?
Well, that requires an involved answer.
“It varies from game to game,” Rossetti said. “I mean, Albert and Adrian [A.J.] have probably been the most consistent, but Jahquel, you know, he has good minutes. Shammond gives us good games that don’t necessarily reflect in the scorebook, but he’s been a big part of our success as well. He gets a lot of those second-chance points through hustle.
“It’s a confident group of kids. They want to win.”
Hawkins said, “Once we play our game … we can run with any team in our league.”
Riverhead was without one player Friday for its 68-47 home win over Walt Whitman. Justin Dicks, a reserve senior forward, was out with a kidney issue. “He should be out at least another two days, but he’ll be back [this] week,” said Rossetti.