By Eric Vallen
To say the least, Tadayoshi Pirkl lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, and plays basketball. Having played since seven, Todd says the game is “my passion, I’ve really loved it ever since the first time I picked up a ball.” Throughout his high school career, Todd has played for Westmont all four years, playing varsity this past year as well as the upcoming season.
Furthermore, attributing heavily to Todd’s mastery of the game, Todd played on competitive school and AAU teams since the 5th grade. Due to his skillful play, Todd contributed heavily to the Westmont Basketball program throughout the seasons – resulting in winning teams during both of his years on junior varsity and a playoff berth last season on varsity.
Senior and teammate Omri Shahar describes Todd as “a very inspirational player, great shooter, and is a player that puts in his full effort 100% of the time.” Standing at a miniscule five foot nine, Todd is an undersized guard even since his early days of playing basketball. Despite challenges, Todd has learned to overcome his vertical deficiencies by becoming a supreme ball handler and developing a pass vision paralleling that of Steve Nash. Per Joey Papa, Todd is “an amazing shooter, he’s supreme at setting up his teammates, and overall he’s an animal.”
As a three-point specialist, Todd plays a key role in Westmont’s offense, spacing the floor for other players, consistently moving without the ball to find the best shooting opportunity Todd’s hustle on the floor knows no bounds; especially while smothering is his primary defensive strategy, which serves as a model for varsity and junior varsity players alike. As such, Todd’s teammates know him as a grit and grind player, one that pushes all others on the court to their fullest extent at all times of the game. Additionally, Todd’s influence reaches past that of the court, as many students praise him as one of the best basketball players they have ever seen. Renowned soccer and track specialist Dylan Wright regards him as “the rawest player in the league!” Dylan and other students, Alex Shadduck and Jonathan Sherry, regarded him as “the third splash brother.” With the basketball season about to begin in a few weeks, Todd looks to make waves in the league, further establishing himself as one of the premier players of Westmont’s varsity basketball team.