Aviation High School is an “A” rated career and technical school located in Long Island City. The school is primarily known for its academics and FAA program, but the school's athletic programs are now on the rise and the boys varsity basketball team is garnering attention.
"This is by far the best start in in my 5 years coaching this team,” said Varsity Coach Nicholas Vlavianos.
“It’s been a long hard fought road to get to where we are, and we still have a long way to go," said Vlavianos, former coach of St. Demetrios, a team in the GOYA Greek basketball league.
The Flyers jumped out to a 5-0 record and are currently sitting at 13-3 on top of the PSAL Queens A West I division.
Once known as the doormats of the division and as an easy win for whoever they played, the team now has gotten the reputation of being disciplined and hard to finish off.
“Yeah, I was aware of that stigma, but we can’t focus on what people think or say”, “We just need to go out there, play our game and stick with our system” Coach Vlavianos said.
Coach Vlavianos says the hardest part was to get his kids to buy into the system and for them to have faith in what they were working towards. Looks like the Flyers bought into the system as they are firing on all cylinders this year regardless of the loss of one of their Captains and starting Point Guard.
“It’s simple, next man up”, “Our team stepped it up and we haven’t skipped a beat” Coach Vlavianos said.
The 2017-2018 Flyers have turned heads this year with their hard nose defense and gritty play. So much so that they were invited to participate in the PSAL “A” Division Showcase which made their Coach Proud.
“Sure, it’s always nice to be recognized” “Especially when I knew what the program was, to where we are and knowing where we are planning to go”. “My boys are a great bunch of hard working kids, I’m proud of them” Said Coach Vlavianos.
However, Coach Vlavianos would not talk about individual statistics. “I’ll leave that up to others to talk about individuals stats. We are all about TEAM. On the back of our t-shirts we have a saying We/Me, which stands for We over Me. Unless you are in the pros and playing for a contract, personal stats to me are irrelevant” Coach said.
The team recently finished its strongest in school history while participating in the A Division. “I wanted the Division” said Coach Vlavianos. “This would be the first ever “A” Division regular season title in school history. I also want to host a home playoff game. My boys and the school deserve it with all they put into Academics day in and day out; it would be nice for school spirit."
With a newly renovated Gymnasium, a winning approach, a rejuvenated fan base and with Coach Vlavianos in the pilot seat, the Flyers have been cleared for take-off and are ready to soar high.