Gula helping to pace boys hoop team
In his final season, Zach Gula is relishing every moment.
The Northampton guard/forward is among eight seniors in the mix this season for the Konkrete Kids, who were off to a 5-2 start through their first seven games this season.
So far, the Kids have lived up to their expectations as they expect to be a contender in the East Penn Conference (EPC) tournament as well as major player in the District 11 Class 6A tilt.
Gula already knows the feeling.
He has been there before, being in the regular rotation two years ago when his team advanced to the district title game and state tournament.
Now, the soft-spoken Gula is in the spotlight as a team leading scorer and leader. He led the team with a 14.3 points per average last season.
“A number of us were part of that team that really put it all together,” he said. “We know what it takes to get there.
“We had a great summer and fall together and we truly believe we can have a really good season. We all started working in the spring and it has continued through the summer and fall. We are all fun to be around and push each other to get better.”
Gula certainly has done his part. He is among the leading scorers in the EPC and also among the top three-point shooters. He began his assault this season with a successful summer campaign.
“Zach (Gula) has really come into his own as a player,” said Kids’ head coach Coy Stampone. “He has developed into a leader and a very consistent shooter. He stepped up his game during the summer, and he is playing with a lot of confidence right now.
“He is very determined to help this team get as far as it can this year.”
Gula is comfortable launching his share of long-range jumpers, a steady trait from his early youth.
“I always have shot from a distance,” he said. “Growing up, my father wanted me to get used to shooting from the outside and deep. I never really had a problem with it and became more confident.
“I don’t have a problem shooting from a distance and won’t hesitate if I need to.”
Gula has taken the cue from his parents’ basketball backgrounds. His mother, Michelle, was a 1,000-point scorer at Lehigh Valley Christian High School, and his father, Michael, played at Northern Lehigh.
He would like to continue his career in college, and several Division III colleges apparently will be in the offing for him.
“I have been contacted by more than a few Division III colleges about Zach,” added Stampone. “I believe he can definitely play at that level and be a contributor. He has the skill set to compete and be successful.”
Gula would welcome the opportunity.
“I would be honored if a school would give me a shot,” he said. “I do want to see if I can continue to play. I have to see how things will play out.”
Until then, Gula has his goals in place.
“We know we’ll have a big challenge ahead of us after Christmas,” he said. “We could have had a few more wins last year if we were more focused. We’ve learned from those things and have put it behind us.
“This is the last ride for many of us and we can’t let it get away.”