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Lunchtime…For Ballers

Inside the World of Basketball at Lunch

Jemima Schoen

If you walk into the gym on any given school day at 11:45, you will likely see several AJA students playing basketball. They do this for many reasons, and they show a profound devotion to the sport. 

When asked why he plays basketball at lunch, junior Elliot Sokol said, “First of all, I just love basketball, and I want to play it whenever I really have the chance. Second, I don’t get to play in the gym very much so this is the chance. Third, I think it’s like more of a recess than a lunch.” 

Sophomore Ezra Feen explained, “I love basketball and I think after two long classes when you work hard, it’s good to have a fun break and I really enjoy it with all my friends there.” 

Junior Daniel Gadelov responded that he likes to play basketball at lunch because “I get slowly better at it, and it helps me out a lot.” Playing basketball at lunch combines a beloved pastime, an active outlet, camaraderie, and practice.

Speaking of practice, many of these students are already on the basketball team, yet they still specifically take this time at lunch to play basketball. Ezra posited that a love of basketball can never fully be satisfied. He said, “I love basketball that much, so anytime I have the chance to play, I’m going to play.” 

Elliot raised another aspect of playing in the gym: the fun of it all. “When we play with the basketball team that’s like serious, you know, practice is serious, games are serious. We play at lunch, it’s just for fun, it’s just with the boys.” 

Continuing in his vein of self-improvement, Daniel said, “I don’t believe that I can really get enough time. I just try to improve myself a lot, so like whenever I’m on the team I get a lot of playing time.” 

Junior Gavriel Singer stated that he enjoys playing basketball at lunch even though he’s not on the team. He explained that it gives him a chance to be “active in school” and play with his classmates who he otherwise doesn’t get a chance to play with.

Playing basketball at lunch combines a beloved pastime, an active outlet, camaraderie, and practice.

Additionally, according to these students, playing basketball at lunch contributes to their high school experience. “It makes it seem like less work, work, work,” said Elliot. “There’s a little break in between. It’s nice to play some ball, you know? And you get good memories from playing that much.” 

Daniel agreed, adding that some of his favorite parts of playing basketball in the gym are “hanging out with friends and playing basketball with them to get a deeper connection with them.” Basketball can indeed be a bonding experience.

Playing the same sport at the same time every day may seem tedious, but the students who play basketball at lunch find ways to keep it interesting. Ezra provided a glimpse into the day-to-day of basketball at lunch, “Sometimes we play five-on-five, three-on-three, whatever. Now, we are mainly playing king of the court which is a one-on-one base game.” 

When it comes to making up for lost lunchtime, these ballplayers consider the sacrifice to be well worth it. “Thankfully, now we have ten minutes between each class, so I will go outside and I will eat something,” explained Ezra. 

Gavriel proves that he is all about the game, as he makes time for playing basketball, even when it cuts into his eating time. “I also eat during lunch, I just eat really fast.” 

The cadre of students who play basketball at lunch love the game, love to spend time together, love to be active, and love to improve at their sport.

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