In December of 2012, David Gagas was a new sophomore at Taft. The rigor and required excellence of Taft Athletics took him by surprised, and he found himself sitting on the bench of the JV Basketball team, despite having played since he was a young boy. David’s determination and resolute nature is palpable; he realized he had potential in his first season of Taft Basketball, so he tirelessly spent his offseason working on his game. David is now a co-captain of the Varsity Basketball team, and is a key playe, helping to lead our team to victory.
Gagas, a Middlebury, Connecticut native, applied to Taft after his freshman year at a local high school. He had been playing basketball for his middle school team, and had wanted to continue into his high school career. After his acceptance to Taft, he excitedly awaited the winter season so he could display the skills he had acquired throughout his childhood. As soon as he stepped into the Cruikshank Field House, Gagas realized that making varsity wouldn’t be as easy as he thought: “I remember seeing all of the kids on the varsity squad, and I was blown away. These guys were a lot better than I thought they’d be.” The varsity team in the 2012-13 season finished with an incredible 18-5 season, making the cutting process for this elite squad competitive and strenuous. Gagas, unfortunately, was one of the many to get cut. Although this was disappointing to him, he took this news with determination to make it next year. He had a solid season on the JV squad (to which they finished 10-7), and practiced with vigor over the course of the next year.
The winter of 2013 slowly rolled around, and soon, Gagas found himself walking into the wooden Field House for a second time, with a newfound sense of grit. He was bigger, faster and smarter than he was the last year; this second time around, he truly wanted it. His hard work was apparent, and he was put on the squad. Gagas was “excited that [he] was given the chance to make a difference on the team, and represent his school”. Over the season, he grew as a player and as a person: he was respected by the team and the Taft community as a scrupulous person, and a reliable basketball player. Gagas continued to practice over the next year with the same perseverance he had always played with. He entered this year’s season as one of the co-captains of the team, along with fellow senior Sam Barrett.
Gagas should be looked up to by all aspiring varsity athletes. He looked into himself to realize he had potential, and unlocked this potential through practice and determination. Gagas is a paramount player on our team, and just two short years ago, he was on JV. Anything can happen when you want it enough.