HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Settled into his senior season as leader of Hastings High School's boys basketball team, Joe Tino is planning his future as a college athlete at upstate SUNY New Paltz .
Tino, a 6-4 forward with good court instincts and an accurate outside shooting game, has made a commitment to the state university, where he hopes to grow his game,
"I'm really excited about New Paltz," Tin said. "I think it's a perfect fit for me. Of course I'm nervous about playing at the next level. Playing against such great players everyday will be a huge challenge but it will also be some great basketball."
New Paltz competes in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. The Hawks are 4-6 there so far this winter season.
"The New Paltz coach, Mike Rejniak, has been great throughout the process," Tino said. "He's excited to coach me and that makes it easy to be excited to play for him."
With college challenges ahead in the fall, Tino's Yellow Jackets are off to a 5-4 start this season and hoping to gain momentum as the season moves toward the postseason. He is averaging 10 points a game with teammate Qu'ran Robinson, who also averages 10.
"We've had a rough start this season, but the whole team is expecting great things," Tino said. "We've lost some games that we could have won because we aren't completely comfortable with each other yet. We have a new offense and a lot of us aren't totally sure how to play within it yet. But we have been seeing improvement every game."
The Yellow Jackets have a full schedule of league games remaining with the focus on a league title and the Section 1 Class C playoffs.
"Looking ahead to the future gets me very excited," Tino said. "The near future should hold a bunch of wins for us and a home playoff game in February where we will do our best to get four wins and hopefully win the section."