Athlete Spotlight: John Donaldson

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Athlete Spotlight: John Donaldson

Photo Courtesy of Christian Squitieri, Edit by Josh Polansky

Photo Courtesy of Christian Squitieri, Edit by Josh Polansky

Photo Courtesy of Christian Squitieri, Edit by Josh Polansky

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After an historic season, Lynbrook Owls basketball star John Donaldson looks back on his final campaign with fond memories. Donaldson, a member of the varsity squad since his sophomore year, played an integral role in bringing the Owls all the way to Nassau County Class A Championship game, a title Lynbrook has only won once ever, in 1989. Although the team unfortunately lost to Manhasset, 55-42, Donaldson and the rest of the Owls know how special this once-in-a-generation season was.

For many of the Owls, Donaldson was a true asset to the Lynbrook basketball family, and his emergence as a leader on the team has left a significant impact on his teammates and coaches. “[John] does whatever is necessary in terms of leadership,” commented Head Coach Jamie Adams. “He leads by example and talks to teammates whenever necessary; he is one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever [worked with],” added Adams. Donaldson’s teammates agree; “John leads the team by example by turning up his energy on defense, which gets us all playing better,” said senior forward James Montgomery. Montgomery also praised his teammate for his ability to find open players on the court, a skill difficult to teach. “John makes me a better player because he provides assists on all of my [baskets]… he always knows where I am on the court and will always find me,” added Montgomery. Indeed, the Montgomery-Donaldson tandem was one of the strongest and most effective parts of Lynbrook’s game this season, and it certainly helped propel the Owls to a 20-3 final record.

Donaldson’s game, while chock-full of highlight-reel passes, revolves around a vicious combination of tenacious defense and lights-out three-point shooting. Earlier this season, Donaldson used those abilities to earn a spot in the exclusive 700-career point club, a feat obtained by very few players in Lynbrook history.

Donaldson reiterated the strength of the Owls as a cohesive unit, citing his coaches and teammates as inspiration and motivation to be a better player and leader every day. “The most important thing… is always encouraging everyone, even if everything is not going our way,” mentioned Donaldson. “The players and coaches around me encourage me to work hard, be a leader, and try to [improve] every day at practice,” he added.

Suffice to say, Donaldson’s presence in the locker room and on the court will be sorely missed in the coming years. However, Coach Adams believes that younger players can learn from Donaldson and the rest of the senior class by using their guidance to improve in the future. “What others can learn from John is [that] no matter how he is feeling, when it is game time, he is ready to go and do whatever it takes to help his team win… John will be a great coach one day,” said Adams. A bold prediction by Adams, but one that signifies how much Donaldson will always mean to the Owls basketball family.

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