The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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J-Day basketball tournament provides fun and entertainment amid exam season

Audrey Li
In one of the many preliminary rounds of the J-Day basketball tournament, two teams face off while students crowd around all four sides of the court. “We’ve always had a lot of people show up to the gym every lunch. They’re kind of sacrificing their lunch to watch the game, but the turnout has been really good,” junior Andrew Wang said.

While freshmen scramble to finish their Integrated Biology, English, Statistics and Technology (IBEST) projects, sophomores and juniors cram for finals, and seniors push through the final weeks of their high school careers, one thing that all students at Jefferson have in common is looking forward to the Jefferson Day (J-Day) basketball tournament. 

“We usually have about 40 to 50 teams, and each team has four players. It’s one of the biggest sports tournaments at [Jefferson],” senior and co-organizer of the tournament Shrishti Ghosh said.

J-Day, which took place on Friday, May 24, is a two-hour-long event that takes place in replacement of eighth period, a change from the half day event last year. Various clubs are positioned all around the school, selling traditional treats like ice cream, doughnuts and baked goods, as well as newer savory goods including Raising Canes, which sold out in a record 10 minutes. Students also had an option to take a break from all the food and cool off at sponge wars, a yearly activity sponsored by Jefferson Model United Nations (TJMUN).  

However, the J-Day basketball tournament started three weeks before the actual day, with the semi-final and final game happening on J-Day. Forty-two teams faced off in a single elimination-style basketball game, modeled after March Madness. 

“The best moment, I’d say is when I forgot the team name, but they did score a three-pointer at the buzzer beater, winning them the game,” junior and co-organizer Andrew Wang said. 

These tournaments occur during lunch, with four ten-minute games happening daily. The tournament took a break due to Advanced Placement (AP) testing but picked back up on Wednesday. Even though they occur at lunch and food isn’t allowed in the gym, there has still been great interest and hype around the tournament, with gyms crowding to watch the quick three vs three games. 

“I think it helps people relax, especially before exams. It somewhat gives people something to look forward to during lunches,” Ghosh said.

With all the captivating shots, not-so-successful defenders and plenty of disputes with the referee, Ghoshi attributes the excitement around J-Day to the fact that even non-basketball players can enjoy the lively atmosphere in the gym and pick a team to root for. 

“It’s a great embodiment of what [Jefferson] culture is like. You may not know 100% about something but you’ll still show up and root for your friends or you’ll participate. There are people who have never played basketball in their life playing just for the heck of it,” Ghosh said. 

Whether students are on the court shooting three-pointers or cheering from the sidelines, the basketball tournament is where everyone’s academic stress takes a backseat and students from all grades come together to celebrate Jefferson’s community and create lasting memories in the final weeks of school. 

“Basketball is a very good tournament that does rally up all the students and lets them collectively have fun and watch sports,” Wang said. 

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