The First Independently Student-Run Recreational Basketball League Comes to Rutherford

The first recreational basketball league run by students of Rutherford New Jersey will take place in late January. Eight students of Rutherford High School draft a pool of Rutherford students who will compete in a recreational basketball league. Recognize the coaches, stars, and sleepers in Sunday’s upcoming draft.

Managers Leo Santana and Arthur Costan have organized a program in which they’ve elected themselves along with six other students as coaches for their designated team. Each team will draft from a pool of over 80 Rutherford students. Santana states “Draft will take place Sunday, December 18th … The league start date is still in the works but we are looking at late January.”

Games will take place strictly on Sundays in order to ensure players and coaches are not occupied with other jobs or extracurricular activities. If interested in joining the league contact @lab.league on Instagram.

The rules of the league are as follows

  • Each team will have at least eight players along with the designated coach
  • Games will be played in high school/public courts
  • If a team is losing by over 15 points, the coach may enter the game as a player
  • Rules will follow the same guidelines as NBA/NCAA
  • Games will be officiated and scored by fellow Rutherford students
  • Games will be held on Sundays
  • Coaches will hold a draft in which every player is placed in consideration of joining an organization

Manager/coach Arthur Costan and assistant coach Sam Rojas were recently asked what their plans were heading into the draft with the last pick in the first round. Rojas states, “A well-rounded team, with no egos,” Costan adds “Don’t worry about it, we’re going to be big and we’re going to be strong, and we going to win.”

Coach Sam Kelly was also interviewed on his thoughts on the draft. He began his statement by stating, “As coach of the Pink Panthers I am excited for the draft this Sunday and I’m excited to see who I will be welcoming to my organization.”

Kelly was asked to describe the type of players he wants on his team. He replied, “Going into Sunday’s draft I’m looking to pick up a strong center with the ability to shoot from the mid-range as well as two forwards that can do the dirty work on the boards. The rest of my team will be guard-heavy in hopes we can run other teams off the court.”

When asked if, heading into the later rounds of the draft, there are any “sleepers” he had his eyes on, Kelly prominently stated, “I cannot talk about my draft strategy as it is a secret.”

Coach Kelly remains silent on specific players he would like to draft and little to no names have been given on biases toward ideal prospects from any of the eight coaches. This leaves mystery surrounding the potential draft board.

Rutherfords High School

In the pool of over 80 students, one prospect has risen to the top of the draft board, Arion Balidemaj. In an interview with the projected 1st pick, he states, “It would be a blessing to be the first overall pick in such a stacked draft.” When asked which coach fits his personality he states, “I don’t have an ideal coach, but wherever I land I know we’re going to go straight to work.”

Arion is not the only prospect ready to contribute to their future teams. Kyle Sabia was recently interviewed on what kind of role he would play on his future team, he states, “My role would be to act as a Chris Paul type of player, I can assist and be a decent shooter to guide my team to win.” Rutherford students are nothing short of motivated to guide their team to victory in this winter’s league.

Those interested in joining the league should contact Commissioners Costan and Santana before Sunday’s draft. Be sure to follow @lab.league on Instagram and tune in to watch the live broadcast of the draft this Sunday.