Athlete Focus Interview
Philipp Orator (‘14) is a ZIS basketball success story. Thanks to his brother Paul (‘13), he picked up basketball in 8th grade by joining the middle school program. Initially on the B team, he progressed quickly throughout the season to join the A team. In ninth grade, he was cut from the team but with his passion and drive for the sport he convinced the coaches to let him train with them. In tenth grade, he was announced JV captain. During the season, Philipp was able to show his leadership capabilities during a strong season for the ZIS Lions: winning the Swiss Northern School tournament and coming second at SGIS and SCIS. The following year, he was picked for the Varsity squad which came first at the Swiss Northern School tournament and second at SCIS. Sadly the season ended on a low with the team’s relegation to division II at ISSTs, something that the whole team hopes to change this week. In his free time, Philipp enjoys watching basketball and supports the NBA teams San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.
Athlete Focus: Which coach has particularly inspired you?
Philipp Orator: Both of my current coaches are inspiring to me. Carlo Valsecchi-Weeks (‘11), who has struggled a lot, showed me that regardless of what happens, you can still pursue your passion and work hard. Max Schuster (‘11) has showed me that although you might have a busy schedule, and a lot of work outside of basketball, you can always still somehow make time for the gym.
“When I don’t perform, I feel as though the loss is my fault.”
AF: What have been the best and the worst moments this season?
PO: We placed 7th in the SCIS tournament, which was definitely a season-low. The best moment this season was our success at the first tournament of the season. We beat Munich, and played hard against Cobham, who had won Division I ISSTs last season.
AF: What are the challenges of being Captain?
PO: The main challenge of being captain is the organization of the team and ensuring that all goes well. Often, when our coaches are not present, I have to step in and take over. I always receive great help from teammates though, which makes it a lot easier. Another challenge is the pressure I get as being captain. I always feel as though I have to perform well in games, and when I don’t, I feel as though the loss is my fault.
AF: How do you motivate the team before a game?
PO:I try to motivate my team by reminding them of how well we can play. I want to remind them of how good of a team we can be if everyone gives their best.
AF: What are your goals for ISST’s?
PO: My personal goal as well as the goal for the team is to win the tournament and get promoted to Division I. We got relegated last year, and we have to get back into the elite division.
AF: Do you plan to continue playing basketball next year?
PO: As I am going to go to university, I am not sure how it will be with the basketball programs at the various schools. Yet, I definitely want to continue, whether this is me playing with my friends or on a competitive level. Basketball will always be something I enjoy doing.
The ZIS Upper School is hosting the Division II ISST Basketball tournament this week, come to the gym on Thursday and Friday to watch Philipp and the rest of the Varsity Squad play numerous schools from all over Europe.
By: Hannah Mayr