Hoops, He Did It Again

Meet ​​the Runnin’ Rebels leading scorer, Deven Maheshwari, who is taking the PSAL by storm.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Name: Deven Maheshwari

Grade: Senior

Height: 6’ 3”

Hair Color: Black

Eye Color: Brown

Date of Birth: 04/19/2004

When and how did you start playing basketball? How long have you been on the ​​Runnin’ Rebels, the Stuyvesant varsity basketball team?

I have been playing basketball ever since I was a kid. My older brother, who is five years older than me, also played basketball, so I grew up going to his games and playing Little League. As I got older, I was able to play for my middle school team, and at Stuyvesant, I have been a part of the basketball program for all four years. I was on junior varsity my first two years and varsity for my last two.

What inspired you to join the basketball team here at Stuyvesant?

I love basketball, so I had no doubts about trying out and playing when I got to Stuyvesant. Basketball has been a great outlet for me, in terms of balancing work as well as just meeting people. When I was a freshman, I didn’t really know many people, and some of my first and lasting friendships were from playing at the BMCC court or by the water.

What position do you play? Why do you like it?

A Stuyvesant, I play center/power forward. A lot of the position is about hustle and ambition and wanting the ball more than the other team, especially down low. On the defensive side, I like pestering people and have learned a lot about how to do so by my teammates. Shout out to Aidan Fingeret. However, usually, I play shooting guard/small forward. Playing guard, I am able to have the ball in my hands, make decisions, pass it to teammates, and also cross over and just take it straight to the rim. I like how much versatility comes with that.

Do you have a most memorable/proud moment with the ​​Runnin’ Rebels?

I have two actually. The first moment was in my sophomore year, in the season opener against Bayard Rustin, one of our biggest rivals. Entering the fourth quarter, they had a couple point lead. One of their players was about to take a layup and take the game, but he actually tripped and fell out of bounds. With no timeouts, we inbound under our own basketball. I caught it at the three-point line, dribbled to the left, and pulled it. I ended up tapping it up to myself and pivoting toward the basketball to catch a three for the game.

The second moment was definitely making the playoffs for the first time since 2016-2017. To advance we beat Seward in their own gym, proving to us and the rest of the city that we are back to being a good program, something our coaches stress and something everyone on our team bought into. Also, I have never played in the playoffs with Stuyvesant, so finally making it this year was a huge moment for me.

What is your strategy for constantly improving yourself (specific workouts, exercises, mentality, etc.)?

Our coach used to repeat to us, “Players are made in the off-season.” By that, he means that when we are not playing together as a team, we should all be in the gym gaining muscle or working on our skills on the court. In the summers, I spend up to five hours everyday going to the local courts, playing against random people, and just trying to get as many repetitions as I can in. I also am a very competitive person, so I try to use better players as motivation to push me.

What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced while playing basketball?

The varsity coach my sophomore year was Mr. Goldman, the guidance counselor. I did not make varsity sophomore year and wasn’t given any valid reason why. That got me pretty down, and even after both of my JV seasons, there were issues with the team and coaches as a whole that stopped us from making the playoffs both years. A combination of all of those factors made me not want to play basketball anymore with the team after sophomore year, but after trying out and seeing all of my friends there after COVID and being able to be a part of that, I instantly fell in love with it again and never looked back.

How do you think the Stuyvesant basketball team has changed you as an athlete/person?

Playing on the Stuyvesant team has made me a better leader and better at communicating with my teammates. I was captain of both varsity and junior varsity along with Fingeret, and I was forced to manage all the guys’ different personalities, communicate with the coach about strategy, and still push for strict practices. I can also get pretty intense on the court, so making sure that I keep who I am on court and off court separated is something I had to learn.

Do you have any plans to continue the sport in the future or in college?

There is still a chance I have the opportunity to play division three basketball in college. Otherwise, I will definitely be playing intramural basketball in recreational leagues or adult leagues. Also, hopefully, when I get older, I will be able to coach.

Do you have any pregame superstitions or rituals?

I have three superstitions/rituals. The first is that before every game I always have to eat the same Ferry’s sandwich: chicken cutlet, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, and chipotle. The second is that before the game we would always meet in room 513, where the team would change together. And the third and most important is that at the beginning of every game after the huddle, I walk parallel to the free throw line, turn, take a two step volleyball approach, jump, and grab rim.

Do you have a specific free throw routine? What is it?

I spin the ball, then crossover dribble, then spin the ball again, and then bend my knees and shoot it.

What is your jersey number? What made you decide that number?

This year, I wore double zero because every game starts at 0-0. So even if we are playing a crazy good team, I don’t feel outmatched. My real number is 24, and I would have worn it, but there were some complications with the supply chain. I picked two because it is my unlucky number and four because it is my lucky number.

What is your favorite game that you have played?

My favorite game that I have ever played is the senior day game this year. One of the juniors,

Sloan Ireland, actually hit a buzzer beater. Everyone showed out, and there a was really positive energy, and we ended the regular season with a win.

Funniest Teammate? Max Fasano and Ethan Kirschner

Favorite Basketball Team? New York Knicks/Liberty

Favorite Basketball Player? Jimmy Butler

Pre Game Snack/Drink? Blood of Enemies + Doritos

Favorite Shoes? Jordan 32

Hobbie? Guitar, Volleyball, Robots