Seideman makes leap to next level in senior season
In the last three years with the Staples boys basketball team, senior Justin Seideman didn’t check out of the game too often, if at all.
He did for the final game of his Wreckers career, though, in time to earn a standing ovation from the dimidiated group of Staples supporters at the end of a 74-48 loss to East Hartford in the first round of the Class LL tournament Monday.
Staples went 9-12 this winter as the point guard shouldered a great deal of the load on both ends of the court. He and Greenwich’s Conor Harkins were the lone players from a non FCIAC playoff team to be named first team all-league.
Seideman averaged 22.3 points per game —as a context the Wreckers averaged 56.9 a tilt—, 5.2 rebounds and three assists this season for the Wreckers. He was named first team All-FCIAC. Seideman, who shot 82 percent from the foul line, was quick to credit his support group for the prestigious honor.
“It was a great honor, my coaches prepared me really well and put me in situations this year,” Seideman said. “And my teammates; they push me hard every day in practice. Everyone sees that I had the personal success, but they don’t see the stuff behind the scenes where my coaches and teammates were helping me.”
Even with opposing defenses keying in on the ball-handler, Seideman particularly shined in the early stages of the season. He fired 35 points in a win over Kolbe Cathedral and another 30 in a loss to Warde around the holiday period.
Somewhat ironically, his final attempt from the field against East Hartford was a trademark contested layup at the rim, which he made. A significant void will be left with his graduation.
“He’s a great kid, a great leader and really stepped up his play on both ends of the floor, and that’s why he was an all-league player,” Staples coach Colin Devine said. “I think it’s great, the hard work and stuff he put in the offseason; and the way he played this year is a credit to all of his hard work and his teammates.”
Seideman said that though he is being recruited by a couple of schools to continue his career into college, he’s focused on landing at a good academic school that would allow him to play at the club level. He was on several AAU teams throughout his high school years that performed well at regional tournaments.
Seideman, who was on the varsity team all four years and started the last three, added that he enjoyed the time he had with the team. He remained loyal to his town and classmates despite the opportunity to play on the prep level.
“It’s been a great four years, I love these guys,” Seideman said. “The past captains and the past seniors; when I was named captain this past spring I knew I had to carry on the tradition and lead these guys. It was a great season.”