Coming all the way from Katz Yeshiva High School in Hollywood, Florida, Ethan Lasko, 18 years old, weighing 171 pounds, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, is the newest addition to the University of Indiana Men’s Basketball team. Practicing Judaism orthodoxly, and attending Jewish schools throughout his childhood, religion is an aspect of life that guided Ethan to pursue his dreams of becoming a college basketball player and be successful in doing so.
Josh Mannis is a 19 year old Music Minor at Indiana University who possesses some extraordinary musical talents. Mannis exhibits his creativity and uniqueness through his abilities in singing, song writing, guitar playing, and producing. He’s a true inspiration for anyone chasing their dreams.
Is religion something that you believe in and is important to you? Religion is unique to every single human being and differs between all types of people. Religion is a part of life that influences people to strive to reach their goals and be the best version of a human being possible. One’s religion affects every person in different ways, but is a key component in guiding human’s to follow and chase their dreams no matter the circumstance or belief.
Coming all the way from Katz Yeshiva High School in Hollywood, Florida, Ethan Lasko, 18 years old, weighing 171 pounds, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, is the newest addition to the University of Indiana Men’s Basketball team. Practicing Judaism orthodoxly, and attending Jewish schools throughout his childhood, religion is an aspect of life that guided Ethan to pursue his dreams of becoming a college basketball player and be successful in doing so. On September 27th, I was lucky enough to capture moments of Ethan’s dedication to the game of at Cook Hall, which is Indiana University’s basketball practice facility.
Ethan’s success started at his high school he attended which was actually an orthodox Jewish private school. Ethan’s senior year he was named, all district, all county, all state, and was a top 15 scorer in the state. Along with that he led his Katz Yeshiva to its first district championship in school history. “Winning the district championship was one of the best moments of my basketball career thus far. Ethan stated, “success at that level was not something that was easy for my teammates and I, but our unity, grit and belief in ourselves and our religion led us to achieve something no other team did in our school’s history.” High school gave Ethan a leadership role and he exceeded his expectations. Along with succeeding in high school, Ethan played for the Florida Vipers AAU team, the team played in the Under Armor Association league during his springs and summer off. This form of competition guided him in a monumental manner, and helped him prepare for college competition.
Practice makes perfect, and I was fortunate enough to go through a late night workout with the freshman and capture moments of the daily work Ethan puts into basketball in order to succeed at the highest level. Late night workouts don’t only consist of shooting for the freshman. There are many steps in his nightly workouts once he hits the gym. Ethan first stretches his body and make sure he’s loose and ready to go, then he hits the treadmill to break a sweat and get his motor running before the actual basketball work comes in. After he’s all warmed up, he starts his workout with dribbling drills for about 15 minutes. Then he is straight into shooting for the rest of his workout. His shooting practice consists of form shooting, to free throws, to off the dribble shots, and then to Ethan’s specialty, the three point shot. Once the workout is finished, Ethan doesn’t leave the gym without making 5 three pointers in a row. But in our workout that day Ethan fully exceeded his and my expectations. Not only did Ethan make 5 threes in a row, but he multiplied his goal by 8 and made 40 three pointers in a row. My jaw and his both dropped after the workout. In comments about his great shooting performance, Ethan said, “We made it, 40 three pointers, I beat my prior record by 13.” Being able to be there for that moment was an honor, the smile and joy that it brought to him was just contagious.
After our workout Ethan was nice enough to show me the locker room. All the gear and shoes were something really cool to capture up close at personal. Sitting there and talking with Ethan after his workout I can’t help but notice his huge smile. Beating a personal record was something that surprised him just as much as me, and what he had to say really tied everything together. When I asked him how he was so successful in his workout and in his past, he said, “I’m lucky to have my friends, family, and G-d by my side, I’ve never stopped believing in myself. I have been given the opportunity to succeed at such a high level, and I’m excited to see what the future has in store.” As we leave the gym the doors close and the lights turn off, a great night of basketball was in the books and there was only room for more in the future. We’re all looking forward to see whats in store for the next four years of his career.