Noel Steps Up Big For Midwood Hornets
Recently, Midwood High School in
Brooklyn defeated South Shore High School 62-60 in a Public
School Athletic League basketball game that put the Hornets
into the Publick School Athletic League (PSAL) playoffs. Greg
Noel had a great game scoring 10 points, grabbing 18 rebounds,
and drawing six charges by the opposing team.
A charge is player control foul on the offense and the ball
is awarded to the team on defense. As a result, Noel helped
his team get six extra possessions in the game.
What is noteworthy about Noel’s play in that game and
this season is that he is a freshman who starts in Brooklyn’s
3A division, featuring some of the best teams in the PSAL like
Boys & Girls High School, Paul Robeson, and Canarsie. At
6’4”, Noel plays power forward, leading the team
in rebounds, and shows great hustle on the court. Noel also
can score in the low-post near the basket. His coach,
Victor Gjecaj, who has been at the helm for 10 years, says
Noel is a rare find. In his ten years at Midwood, Gjecaj has
only started four freshmen, and ironically, three of those
are on this season’s squad.
Khaleef Allicott, now a senior point guard, who averages 25
points and 12 assists a game is one of the bona fide point
guards in the city. He has played all four years for Midwood.
So has Andre Frenkel, a 6’5” senior
who chips in with 14 points a game.
Noel is one to watch. He averages eight points and 12
rebounds a game. He is only going to improve as a player. “I
feel overjoyed that I made it this far,” said Noel. “My
friends told me you’re going to be on the bench and won’t
play until your senior year. I’ve proved them wrong.” Gjecaj
recalls a game earlier this season when Noel scored 24 points
and had 23 rebounds and fouled out of the game midway through
the third quarter against Thomas Jefferson HS. The more
Noel is in the game, the more opportunities he has to help
the team. The last five games, Noel hasn’t fouled out.
Now that the playoffs are around the corner, Gjecaj hopes
Noel can continue to make
positive contributions. “He’s a great rebounder,” Gjecaj
said. “The most physical kid we have on the team.” Midwood
currently has a 16-6 overall record and is 7-5 in its division.
Last season the Hornets were ranked No. 12 in the PSAL playoff
seedings but were upset in the first round. This season Gjecaj
hopes the team can stick around longer. “We could do
very well,” said Gjecaj about his team’s playoff
Noel has been working on his stamina.
When the season started he said he got winded going up and
down the court. Now
he’s getting stronger and is ready to go as playoffs
will soon start to crown the best Brooklyn team in the PSAL.
After that, it’s the city-wide PSAL playoffs. That’s
a lot of pressure-packed games for a freshman. Noel said
he’ll see “the playoffs for the first time in my
life.” This time he’ll be in them.#