Clockwise, from top left: Rajveer Gujral of Half Hollow Hills,...

Clockwise, from top left: Rajveer Gujral of Half Hollow Hills, Howard Zheng of Jericho, Melvin Thu of Great Neck South, Jonathan Chau and Jerry Zhang of Jericho.

Here are the top 15 boys badminton players on Long Island for the 2023-24 season. (Athletes from Nassau completed their badminton season in the fall, while Suffolk competes in the spring.)

Aaron Chu, Herricks, Sr.

The team captain went 7-1 at third singles in the fall to help Herricks (8-3) reach the playoffs. Coach Brittany Ruisi said she is “incredibly proud of [Chu] due to his perseverance and adaptability throughout any game.”

Rishabh Dholakia, Smithtown East, Sr.

Dholakia went 16-4 last season for Smithtown East in Suffolk II, holding down the second singles spot.

Dean Fang, Commack, Sr.

Fang dominated second singles as a junior with a 17-2 record. He earned himself a promotion to first singles and is off to a 6-1 start this spring.

Benjamin Felber, Smithtown East, Sr.

A four-year member of Smithtown East’s varsity team, Felber played at first singles in 2023 and does so again in this spring. He went 17-5 last season and was named Smithtown East's team MVP.

Rajveer Gujral, Half Hollow Hills, Jr.

A two-time returning Suffolk champion, Gujral only lost one match in 2022-23. which came in the Long Island championship against Jericho. Coach Bill Davey said the junior has “great court awareness” and is a “tremendous athlete.”

Ryan Jacob, Great Neck South, Sr.

From first doubles to second singles, Jacob helped Great Neck South (10-2) reach the Nassau semifinals. Coach Allison Gottfried said the senior was able to make the switch to singles because “he worked so hard to improve his agility and quickness.”

Jake Lee, Commack, Fr.

Jake Lee spent 2023 as part of Commack’s No. 3 doubles with now-senior Carlos Karaptian where the duo went 14-4. He currently is 7-0 in the No. 2 singles role as a freshman.

ShengLin Tang, Great Neck South, Fr.

Joining the team a year ago as an eighth-grader, Tang wasted no time by earning the third singles spot with a 10-2 record. Gottfried praised the freshman, saying he “works hard year-round.”

Melvin Thu, Great Neck North, Sr.

The senior won his second consecutive individual Nassau championship in the fall at first singles, finishing the season 9-0. After claiming the individual title, coach John Zak called him “one of the most talented players I’ve coached by far.”

Haoran Xia, Great Neck South, Jr.

The junior went 9-3 at first singles. Gottfried said Xia “lives and breathes badminton” ever since joining the team as a seventh-grader.

Howard Zheng, Jericho, Sr.

Jericho won its seventh consecutive Nassau title with plenty of help from Zheng, who went 9-0. Zheng will lead Jericho against the winner of Suffolk’s spring season in the Long Island championship.

Kevin Lee, Sr., and Kevin Ma, Sr., Commack

Ma played third singles and Lee played fourth singles last season, but they joined up to play doubles this year. The senior duo is off to a 6-0 start, with coach Jesus Valdes saying he sees Lee and Ma “seeded as one of the top doubles teams when everything plays out this season.”

Jonathan Chau, So., and Jerry Zhang, So., Jericho

The duo of Chau and Zhang lead as Jericho’s first doubles, most recently showing off its win from behind in the Nassau final against Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK. They were 10-0 in the regular season — all won within two sets — en route to winning their second consecutive doubles title at the Nassau individual championships.


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