The Advent of the 22’-23’ Boy’s Basketball Season


Kamil Schab, Staff Writer

Coming off one of the most impressive seasons of recent history, the Oak Lawn boy’s basketball team is looking to continue their success this year.

Jason Rhodes, who began his coaching career at Oak Lawn in the winter season of 2011, is guiding the Spartans again this year. He’s a very passionate coach who led his team to a South Suburban Conference Red Title just last year. But maybe more important than victories are the rewarding aspects of coaching.

“The most rewarding aspect of coaching for me is watching kids develop,” Rhodes said. “Not in the course of one season but throughout the course of their high school career, not only as basketball players but also as people.”

Player development is important, wins are nice too. And the Spartans opened the season with four-straight wins.

Recently, Oak Lawn beat Mount Carmel 76-68 in the Championship game in the Spartan/Ram Classic. Notable mentions include Xavier Sulaiman being named MVP of the Championship game, and Ayham Salah being named to the all-tournament team. Sulaiman scored 33 points in the game and Ayham scored 16 second-half points.

During the same tournament, in the semifinal game, Oak Lawn beat St. Laurence 65-60. Sulaiman led all of the scores with 26 points. Corey Lee scored 15 points, Salah scored 10, and Robert Wagner scored 8. Oak Lawn also won against Lincoln-Way West, 74-50, and Bremen, 74-57. 

Sulaiman is a familiar name in the South Suburbs, but he is new to Oak Lawn this year.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5,” Sulaiman said. “I chose to transfer to Oak Lawn because it was the best move for me coming from Marist. I’m most excited for the basketball season and graduating, I plan on playing college basketball and playing professionally.”

However, this Spartan team is far from a one-man gang. With fellow seniors Salah and Wagner, along with juniors Lee, Henry Martinez, and Erhan Osmani, Oak Lawn has a solid group of athletes. 

The team is tenaciously preparing for the rest of the season in hopes of finding success. So head out to the Spartan gym to help support the team during their games!