BLOOMFIELD, NJ--The Bloomfield High boys' basketball team began official practice on Jan. 11, and head coach Mike Passero's team is eagerly awaiting the regular season opener, which is scheduled for Jan. 26, at home, versus Montclair, starting at 7 p.m.

The Bengals, which finished 13-13 last season and qualified, again, for the NJSIAA Tournament, will play its one scrimmage on Jan. 20, when West Orange comes to Bloomfield for a 4 p.m. start.

The 2021 season will be made up of 15 games, with no county or state tournament.

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Nevertheless, almost every coach will say how happy they are to be working with their players again, and that's certainly the case at Bloomfield.

“Everything is going well,” said Passero, who is beginning his third season as head coach. “We are taking a day-by-day approach, and realize how fortunate we are to be playing basketball. January 26 can’t get here soon enough.”

Passero has been pleased with his team's work ethic.

“We have such a good group of kids, who are excited to come in and compete every day,” the coach said “It definitely helps to have a handful of returning players in the gym.  We are all looking forward to seeing them play.”

Bloomfield's captains are seniors Vernon Lee, Andre Dean and Chino Anyanwu.

“We will count on them to lead us both on and off the court,” Passero said of his captains. 

The roster also features seniors Khanye’ Tucker, Dan Colon and Jahi Fisher, juniors Uma Kalu, Isaiah Cortes, Ram Gotrasse, Julian Paulino, Rakeen King and Seth Edwards. Shayne Hinton is the lone sophomore on the varsity roster. 

Bloomfield has put together a solid program in boys basketball. It won a state sectional title in 2016-2017 and followed that campaign with a 22-victory season the following year. Before taking over as head coach, Passero was an assistant at BHS for 10 years, under then-head coach Pat Brunner.