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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

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Niles West Basketball Says Farewell to Head Coach Mike Wasielewski

Emma Schieffer
Coach Wasielewski watches his players set up for their next play. Stakes are high as the game went to multiple overtimes.

Starting young Niles West feeder kids start their journey of basketball. From the beginning, Niles Wests’ head basketball coach has been there training both those kids, as well as his team. However, after seven years of coaching head coach Mike Wasielewski is ready to step down as head coach.

Wasielewski had a significant impact on the Wolves basketball program. Whether it be creating bonds with his athletes or drilling them to their true potential, he stayed motivated to better the Wolves.

“The ball program that was run under me, set a standard for character academics and behavior which all translates to success in basketball. I hope people say we won a lot of games but we did it the right way,” Wasielewski said.

“He was very strict and emotional but overall a good coach. It was obvious cared about his players because he always held everyone accountable. It feels weird that he won’t be a coach next year,” junior Felix Ortiz said.

He shaped the Niles West basketball program to where it is today, creating a name and future for Niles West basketball as well.

“My experience was very rewarding [because] we were able to build our basketball program up to be more relevant in the area to win more games. We increased the number of the youth programs in the community and last season we won 22 games which is the second most in Niles West history,” Wasielewski said.

As he reflects on fond memories as the head of the basketball program, Wasielewski recalls the rivalry game held against the Niles North Vikings. Held each year the rivalry between both schools creates an intense atmosphere for both fans and athletes. This season’s rivalry game was one of Wasielewski’s favorites.

“I think people who don’t live in this area don’t understand the intensity of the rivalry between Niles West and Niles North. Over the years we played some really intense and highly competitive games against them with big crowds and live experience, while playing in front of over 1000 people. The triple-overtime game this year at West was just an unbelievable atmosphere, the playoff game last year was an unbelievable atmosphere.. My most memorable moments were those big rivalry games against Niles North in front of 1000 people. It was really fun to coach,” Wasielewski said.

Returning basketball athletes appreciate the way Wasielewski held up their season and see this change as way to restart next year.

“He was a serious and determined coach. He wanted us to be the best we could and reach our potential. He helped me learn more about the game and helped me become a more determined player and person. I feel like it’s a new start for me and its a restart for the program,” junior Lance Shaw said.

Wasielewski will still be teaching at Niles West as part of the social studies department, but he is looking forward to being a big supporter and fan of the boys basketball program rather than the head of the program.

For now, there is no information on who the next head coach might be, but interviews are being held to determine the next leader of the Wolves.

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