Announcing Trashketball 2023 Champions…WASTE. (Better luck next year, Bad News Berensons)


Alexa Turteltaub (12), Nick Wong (12), Jack Bleichmar (12), Jerry Zhou (11)

Maeve Goldman, Staff Writer


As the players mounted the court — the 5-1 Bad News Berensons face to face with 5-1 Waste — tension was palpable. Twelve years of near-victories for the Bad News Berensons and the past four months of tears, missed free throws, and trash play culminated into the final question: who will be Trashketball champion? 

The undisputed stars of the Crud league, what Waste lacks in history (and nepotism) they make up for in pure skill. “Our talent alone separates us from the rest of the league,” Waste team member Nicolas Wong (12) said. “Our team is stacked. It’s inevitable that someone’s gonna cook at any given time — be it me, Defensive God Luddy, Swiss Army Knife Bleichmar, Fastbreak Specialist Jerry, Sharpshooter Alexa, Paint Dominator Will CP, and the list goes on.” 

The Bad News Berensons are fueled by one thing and one thing only: victory. “We’ve made the finals before but we have always lost,” co-captain of the Bad News Berensons (as well as Trashketball Commissione, history teacher, and The Record’s very own faculty advisor) David Berenson said. “I have been so close to the promised land, I’ve just never stepped foot in it.” 

Ready for his court coronation, Berenson is certain that this year will be his year (although he probably says this every year). “With so many beasts on the court, it is hard to imagine more of a dream team.”

Waste is shooting for a different type of history, Wong said. So busy that he couldn’t spare a second to give an interview, Waste co-captain and “coach” Kyle Vukhac (12) has transcended trash, crafting the best plays and substitutions, Wong said. All that’s left for Waste is the crown. “It would solidify us as the best basketball team — not only in Trashketball, but in all of basketball history — to ever be created.”

While the Bad News Berenson’s chances at the championship have been met with doubt, the team thrives as the underdogs, Bad News Berensons co-captain Ariela Shuchman (12) said. “Everyone says there’s no way we are gonna win, but we have the heart, passion, and fight. Waste may have the fancy dribblers but we have the determination,” she said. “I knew from the beginning that we could go all the way — it is magic whenever we step out on the court.”

With visions of cementing their legacy, the Bad News Berensons toiled in preparation, valuing sweet victory over testing week, Shuchman said. In grueling practices, the Bad News Berensons perfected their number one strategy… not basketball. In a series of special plays, including the top secret Omaha Strike 55, the Bad News Berensons planned their vicious fouling and trash talk. “We aim to debilitate the defense both physically and mentally. Our team ethos is: include everyone.”

For a crew as disciplined and driven as the Bad News Berensons, mental preparation was as equally important as physical prowess, Berenson said. In a scene straight out of a Tom Brady documentary, members of the Bad News Berenson’s trained through mediation, deprivation tanks, and numerous cheese blintzes, he said. “I don’t know what’s next after we win the championship. We might negotiate a nuclear test ban — or start a taco truck.”

Waste doesn’t need to rely on gimmicks or fancy plays to trash the Bad News Berenson’s dreams, Waste co-captain Alexa Turtletaub (12) said. “Kyle drafted a great team so that’s our secret weapon,” she said. “Honestly I don’t really play much,” reminiscing her three pointer against Defenders of the Liberal Arts. 

Waste knows they are destined for Trashketball glory — the only question is how much they’ll humiliate the Bad News Berensons, Wong said. “It’s been a cute little run for them, and quite frankly it’s been amazing to see. But respectfully, I would be disappointed if they score more than 5. It’s gonna be light work.”

The final will undoubtedly be an emotional affair for everyone, Shuchman said. Post-defeat, it will be difficult for Waste to show their faces on and off the court for a couple months — and Shuchman recommends they come to the game prepared with ice and tourniquets. “There will obviously be some tears from Waste, but the Bad News Berensons will have some happy tears as well.” 


They entered the court for trash, they left with treasure. After 40 minutes of treacherous play, Waste finally lifted the ceremonial Trashketball trashcan above their heads, triumphantly wasting the Bad News Berenson’s championship dreams 15-11. 

At 3:25, Team Waste ambled into the Lower Gym flaunting neon pink jerseys, while the Bad News Berensons kept it classic, donning the team’s traditional (dare we say iconic) white and orange t-shirts with its trademark bear on the front. “We don’t have everyone,” a Waste team member exclaimed. “Let’s go,” Bad News Berenson co-captain Berenson retorted. The whistle sounded: Trash had commenced.

As the crowd fell silent, The Bad News Berensons began the first installment of a series of magnanimous trash talk. “Dribble, dribble, dribble,” the entire Bad News Berenson’s bench jeered. “Miss, miss, miss.”

At approximately 3:34, after nine minutes of flopped dunks and fading dreams, Waste finally broke through with Nicholas Wong (12) sinking the very first basket of the final. “oooooh,” the crowd cried. “Brick city bro!!!!”

Ready for redemption, the Bad News Berensons embraced the ball and bounded under the net. “Shoot it, shoot it,” the crowd screamed in excitement (the Bad News Berensons did not, in fact, shoot it). “That’s an airbnb,” Christine Tao (11) taunted from the sidelines.

After Waste sinked two subsequent baskets, an awe-inspiring layup and a prodigal two-pointer, the onlookers stared in astonishment. “That was an honest layup man,” an aspiring Trahsketballer exclaimed with wonder from the sideline.

Finally, it was the moment the Bad News Berenson’s fandom had waited for. At 3:42, Wyatt Silverman (11) scored Bad News Berenson’s very first basket, bringing the light back into Berenson’s eyes.

Alas, it was not meant to be. As quickly as victory came, it was left, as a mere four seconds later — the clock still reading 3:42 — Wong scored another three pointer. “HE’S HOT,” the crowd screamed.

In a fit of revenge, the Bad News Berensons fouled Waste. As Jack Bleichmar (11) approached the foul line, Bad News Berenson’s co-captain Ariela Shuchman rubbed more salt in the gaping wound. “You suck, Jack.” The ball didn’t go in.

The game intensified. Bad News Berenson’s Gabe Jaffe (11) and Berenson (in what seems like a career high) scored two more buckets, bringing the score to a hairsplitting 14-11. “Ice in my veins,” Jaffe said in between consecutive high fives. “Oooooh,” the crowd was electric. The Bad News Berensons were back.

Just as visions of victory flashed through the players eyes, a scandal erupted on the court. With a career ending accusation, the Bad News Berensons exclaimed that Waste had too many players on the court. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” Bleimer emphatically counted in response. The trash resumed. Until…

“THAT’S GAME!” In a court-shattering play, Jerry Zhou (11) sent the ball thrashing through the net. Waste had won.

Too devastated for words, the Bad News Berensons declined an interview, slinking from the Lower Gym in somber dismay.

“We always knew we would crush them,” Waste co-captain Alexa Turtletaub laughed, Trashketball merch in one hand, trophy (a trash can) in the other.

The winning shot!