Bloomfield Hills boys hoops enjoying turnaround season

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 17, 2021

 Black Hawks sophomore Noah Adamczyk rises for a shot over a defender in a game earlier this season at home. Coach Phil Kurajian said Adamczyk’s play has been key to the team’s success this season.

Black Hawks sophomore Noah Adamczyk rises for a shot over a defender in a game earlier this season at home. Coach Phil Kurajian said Adamczyk’s play has been key to the team’s success this season.

Photo by Susan Adams Photography

 The Bloomfield Hills boys basketball team huddles during a game earlier this season. At press time, the Black Hawks were 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

The Bloomfield Hills boys basketball team huddles during a game earlier this season. At press time, the Black Hawks were 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Photo by Susan Adams Photography

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Last season was an up and down one for the Bloomfield Hills High School boys basketball team. After winning their first four games of the season, the Black Hawks dropped the next nine consecutive games and only won three the rest of the way, finishing 7-14 overall.

Fast forward one year later and coach Phil Kurajian’s team has already matched that win total in the pandemic-shortened season. At press time, the Black Hawks were 7-4 overall and led the Oakland Activities Association White Division with a 5-2 record.

“It was a big growth year for us and I give all the credit to our seniors,” Kurajian said. “That group starts with senior captain Mason Canfield who has been with us for four years. He’s really tried to help this program grow and understands it’s about more than him. Having that is fantastic.”

Kurajian noted how the selflessness of his team played a prominent role in sending them to the top of the OAA White leaderboard. Players who weren’t named captains didn’t take it personally, and they didn’t let it stop them from leading.

Strong leadership and camaraderie can often cause a team to play unselfish basketball. The Black Hawks have a common goal that playing together as a team is more important that any individual talent the team may have.

As much as the players deserve credit for this turnaround season, Canfield said those in charge deserve their fair share, as well.

“I’d like to credit the coaching staff,” Canfield said. “They have done a great job over the time that coach Phil has been here to build a different program. ... Obviously, that takes time, but I think this year’s group of guys really decided to buy into that.”

On the court, Kurajian said the team prides themselves on defense, and just like everything else for Bloomfield this season, it’s been a team effort. As the team continues to focus on its defense, the offense will come along with it as the Black Hawks like to push the ball in transition.

As good as this season has been for Bloomfield Hills, it wouldn’t be complete without some adversity. At press time, the team was in the middle of a 10-day pause due to COVID-19 complications.    

The day after a recent game, the team was notified that an opposing player had tested positive for COVID-19 overnight and was showing symptoms. Bloomfield Hills immediately suspended all team activity for 10 days as the squad was forced to quarantine.

“We talked about it with our guys,” Kurajian said. “We let everyone let out their anger and voice their opinion. We found out that Monday what the situation was and how long we’re going to be out. We told them, ‘You have until tonight to be mad. Go be mad, play video games, do whatever you want. We’re not going to do anything basketball oriented. But once it hits midnight, we’re back at it tomorrow.’”

Canfield said the team used the break to watch film daily over Zoom as their coach encouraged them to put up shots on their own either in the driveway or safely at a local park.

The Black Hawks were scheduled to play Troy High at 7 p.m. March 19 at home. After that, the postseason starts just days later. The Black Hawks host a district starting March 23 with West Bloomfield High, Auburn Hills Avondale, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Pontiac High and Waterford Mott.

Kurajian said consistency is of the utmost importance as the team prepares for a tough playoff run.

“It’s tough for high school kids, especially with this crazy year, to play a full 32 minutes,” he said. “Even in games we’ve won, we let our guard down and let teams back in. We need to learn to play 32 minutes. If you want to beat elite teams in the playoffs and make a run, you have to play a full game.”

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