NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Steven Herlihy is co-captain of the North Salem boys’ basketball team.
The boys’ basketball team has a new coach this season. How has the team adapted to Coach Chris Regan and his new system?
All of us have been in the program at some point in time throughout high school, so everyone kind of knows what his coaching style is like (Regan coached junior varsity). Also, many of us have had him as a teacher, so we know what he’s like not only on the court but off the court as well. So, I’d say all of us have had a seamless transition so far to his coaching style.
However, Coach Regan’s complex offensive and out of bounds plays have really tested some of our players’ mental capacity. But after a few scrimmages and our first game, I believe our team has really bought into his new system and have shone at times why we can be a dangerous team in Class B.
Do you have any individual or team goals for the upcoming season?
First as an individual, I want to be the best leader I can be every time our team steps on the court. As much as I’d like to say that I’ll be going to the NBA someday, I know that the ball will stop bouncing pretty soon for myself. So, I just want to be remembered by my teammates as someone they respect and had fun playing with.
As a team, our goal every year is to compete for a league title. But this year one of our team goals this year is to finish as an upper-echelon team in Class B when the regular season has finished. We have the talent to be a very good team. But we just got to take it one game at a time and not overlook any of our opponents.
How old were you when you started playing basketball and what got you started?
I started playing basketball in third grade. My dad said, “You should try recreational basketball.” And ever since then, I’ve grown to enjoy basketball more and more. Even though my team went 0-13 my first season ever playing rec basketball.
What is your favorite team activity or pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates? What about a personal pregame or postgame ritual?
My favorite team activity definitely has to be the team dinners. We usually go to one of the captain’s houses and have dinner there. It’s a great time where we bond as a team through very intense [NBA] 2K games and highly intellectual conversations. Well, maybe they’re not so intellectual.
One personal pregame ritual that I always do for home games is sit on our bench a couple minutes before tip-off. It helps me get into a focused yet relaxed mindset when I see my friends going crazy in the stands.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My biggest role model definitely has been my brother, Tim, who has autism. His infectious smile and always joyous attitude reminds me every day what life is really about. I could come home and be mad about a grade, sporting event, or friend but when I see him it just reinforces what truly matters and that I should be thankful for what I have. Also, his expertise in video games and passion for superhero movies are two hobbies that my family enjoys whenever a new video game or movie comes out. Well... I know that I enjoy this at least.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I’m a coffee connoisseur.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what are you planning on studying and why?
I want to study sports or business analytics in college. After taking part in a program over the summer at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, I was able to learn more about how sports, data and computing work in the sporting world. Learning from some of the best professors and executives that deal with sports and statistics really got me to focus in on sports/business analytics. I can’t guarantee that everyone will get the same experience that I did. I would highly recommend anyone’s who’s interested in sports and math to apply to this once in a lifetime experience.
What is your favorite sports team (pro or college)?
My favorite sports team is the outstanding New York Jets. My family is die-hard jets fans. We have season tickets and all of my siblings are named after the Jets. J(oan) E(llen) T(im) S(teven).
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
My favorite music to listen to warming up has to be anything from Lil Baby, Gunna, Migos or Future.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Probably the ability to fly because I’ve always wondered what it would be like to dunk.
What is your favorite place to visit on vacation and why?
Our family always has a house in Ocean City, N.J. I like it because it’s where I get to work on my mini golf game on the boardwalk and a place where I can relax and spend good quality time with my family members.
Favorite place to eat locally?
There are so many good places to eat locally but if I have to choose one, I’d say 121 Restaurant due to the superb food, great service and five-minute distance from my house.
What’s the go-to app on your phone and why?
It’s definitely the ESPN Fantasy Sports app. It serves as a daily reminder of how much better I am at fantasy football then my friends.
For a young athlete growing up in the North Salem school district, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the basketball team and why should they go out for the team?
Being a part of the basketball team has taught me so many life lessons. It teaches you how to handle adversity, how to work hard and how to pay attention to details. Also, it gives you a chance to make friendships that you’d never have made in your normal life if not for basketball. Kids should ultimately go out for the team in the future because Coach Regan will teach you the game and life lessons that will only benefit you in the long run.