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New varsity boys basketball head coach reflects on season

Varsity+boys+basketball+head+coach+Tony+Lazare+stands+on+the+sidelines+during+a+game+against+Norwood+School+Feb.+15.+The+team+won+the+game+58-46.
Jaden Gardiola
Varsity boys basketball head coach Tony Lazare stands on the sidelines during a game against Norwood School Feb. 15. The team won the game 58-46.

Hired by Athletic Director John Farmer, Tony Lazare assumed the varsity boys basketball head coach position in January. The team had a record of 8-0 wins throughout the season when Lazare began coaching the team. 

Lazare said beginning to coach a team mid-season is difficult. 

“I’ve been using the motto ‘ignorance is bliss,’ so I didn’t want to know too much about the backstory [of the team] because I had a job to do,” Lazare said. “I don’t want to focus on the backstory.”  

Lazare said it was relatively uncomplicated to fit in with the team given his prior experience coaching. 

“It was as easy as one-two-three,” Lazare said. “I [have] a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of experience. That’s what I do all day, every day behind the desk, thinking and talking and helping other people coach.”

In addition to his role as a coach, Lazare is the Chief Executive Officer of the London Basketball Association. Lazare said his work at the LBA consists of running events for kids around London regarding basketball. 

“I used to coach full time for, like, 10 years straight, but then I made sacrifices so other people can become coaches, qualified coaches,” Lazare said.  

That’s what I do all day, every day behind the desk, thinking and talking and helping other people coach.

— Varsity boys basketball head coach Tony Lazare

In addition to coaching, Lazare said he helps organize the allocation of referees for games around London.

Varsity boys basketball assistant coach Brad Moore said he enjoys working with Lazare. 

“[I] love him,” Moore said. “He’s excited and he’s knowledgeable. Those are two things that are the prerequisites, and he’s got them both.”

Varsity boys basketball captain Sinan Sensurucu (’23) said he shares the same enthusiasm as Moore in regards to Lazare. 

“I’m really enjoying Tony’s coaching style,” Sensurucu said. “I didn’t really know him, but I think he’s doing a great job of stepping up in mid-season and he’s also doing a great job of playing to our strengths and learning how we play.”

Lazare said although his first wins came against the International School of Brussels, they did not come without their fair share of struggles. 

“It was tough for a number of reasons,” Lazare said. “They were organized and disciplined, the crowd was damn loud and scary, and we only had four sessions beforehand with myself that enrolled, so it was an obstacle.” 

The team finished with an undefeated season, having a 13-0 record going into ISSTs, and winning the tournament for the first time since 1993. The team won 66-39 against Frankfurt International School, 88-14 against Munich International School, 66-38 against Zurich International School and 73-43 against the American International School of Vienna. 

Before the tip-off against ISB prior to ISSTs, Lazare said the pressure started to kick in.

“I was nervous before, but as soon as the game started, I [was] in the zone,” Lazare said. “You’ve got to understand your opponents and then adjust and continuously adjust, you know, and we actually had some really good adjustments in the game which led to the win.”

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About the Contributors
Obalolu Edun, Media Team
Obalolu Edun ('26) is a member of the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.
Jaden Gardiola, Culture Editor: Online
Jaden Gardiola (’25) is the Culture Editor: Online for The Standard. He was initially drawn to journalism as a different approach to language arts, while also being passionate about film and filmmaking. Gardiola is keen to use multimedia to tell stories in a unique way. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Gardiola also takes part in soccer and Student Council, and is an avid fan of football and basketball.

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