In October, a cultural interaction between American Schools of Central America will take place in the American Nicaraguan School Campus. Yearly American schools rotate to become the hosts of sports tournaments which includes basketball, cross country, among others. It is a great experience for both athletes and hosts to become part of this athletic event. For this reason we interviewed the Athletic Director and president of the AASCA basketball tournament 2015 to inform us more about this outstanding news.
Oswaldo Ortiz has worked in our school since 1992, in other words, he has been working on this campus for 24 years.
As a general rule, every American school of Central America hosts an AASCA of any sports every 6 years. We asked Oswaldo to answer 5 questions regarding the tournament’s topic.
What are your plans and expectation as the Physical Education Director during the process of hosting ANS for the AASCA basketball tournament 2015?
“We have great expectations for this tournament. As far as organization, we expect that all the visitors get a nice impression of our school and our country as a whole. We are expecting 200 athletes and about 100 guest parents and that is why we are organizing everything with different committees like STUCO, PTO, and the whole coaching staff is working to make the best impression possible,” said Oswaldo, while explaining their process being done for the following tournament. He tells us, “now, in the sport part, we are training with both varsity teams 5 days a week, both boys and girls teams. In the girls team, we have 12 athletes and in the boys team we have 20 athletes, but by the end of the training season, when we are ready for the tournament we are going to choose the best 12 athletes in both teams. After the Independence holiday, the athletes are going to be completely dedicated to the sport, because from these first weeks of training, some of the athletes have been practicing two sports still. As a matter of fact we believe that we will be in a great level around Central America.” – Oswaldo Ortiz
Would you mind to share with us some new methods/techniques that are being implemented in both Girls Varsity and Boys Varsity team to achieve success for this Central American tournament?
Oswaldo nodded and then answered confidently, “since this year the tournament is in Nicaragua we’ve decided to make an invitation to certain dedicated and excellent athletes from other ANS sports. For example,f from the girls soccer varsity team we invited Chantal Martinez since she plays both basketball and soccer, also Alessandra Youth who is on the track team and plays basketball, Lucia Morice and Natalia Behrend who also play both soccer and basketball. Regarding basketball, at first we thought we would struggle getting enough players for the teams , but now we have plenty. We are going to have a great representation since the ANS students seem to be motivated about this tournament. Another measurement we took for ANS basketball teams to achieve success is that we hired two new very highly qualified coaches. They are Mr. Hugo Cash (girls team) and Hilton Lackwood (boys team) and both played in the first division of the country in the 80’s with great experience and with great methods to teach the secrets of basketball. In conclusion, what I can tell you is that we will have great representing ANS this year.”
When was the last time that ANS won an AASCA basketball tournament?
“Well, the last time the school won an AASCA basketball tournament was in April 2003, when boys basketball team became champions in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with a record of 5 victories and 1 defeat against all the possible teams. Then, the girls varsity team won second place in 2004 and those victories proves of of our great performance in basketball.” Oswaldo stated.
What advice can you give to the 2015 basketball players for this upcoming tournament?
He tells us, “the advice I can give the athletes is to enjoy each practice, each tournament, day by day with the best of them, because we want to give a great show to our public. It is not easy to play an AASCA tournament, but by having a lot of enthusiasm and our school cheering for the basketball players it would encourage them to score more in the basketball matches .And another advice I would give to the basketball athletes is not to forget their academic performance, since it is as important as the athletic part. It is really important to be a great academic student because us as a department we want dedicated athletes that can combine both. Always put a lot of time, effort, and courage.”
What are your top goals for the physical education program in general?
“Maintain all students active and constantly update our curriculum. This year we have a great challenge with the block schedule because we have to keep students active for an hour and a half. A new initiative we have had is to provide swimming classes as an elective course for secondary students because we know that some students don’t have time after school to practice this sport. We have around 25 people in this elective and this elective will also help us to determine if some students in the future, would like to join the actual swimming team. It is worthwhile to mention that we will also host AASCA swimming in February 2016.”
AASCA undoubtedly is one of the most important tournaments of Central America and it is a real honor for ANS to be hosting it this year. Proving our spirit and courage is what makes us real tigers!
Most outstanding basketball players in Hall of Fame in ANS:
Boys Varsity: Aaron Guerrero 2006 y JP Espinosa 2009
Girls Varsity: Beatriz Mayorga 1997, Cristiana Frixione 2002 y Ruth María Díaz 2000