The opening tip represented more than just the beginning of a new basketball season for Josh Fenner.
It also doubled as an opportunity to make a resounding statement.
Fenner provided Glenn with a dazzling display in the opener, notching 44 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 79-68 home victory over Harborfields on Nov. 26. The 5’11 senior guard earned Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honor following his fifth 40+ point effort during his time at Glenn.
After averaging 24.7 points per game last season, Fenner had some added incentive to put together a dominating performance.
“I definitely wanted to come out and make a big statement,” said Fenner, who followed up with a 36-point outing in a 90-79 loss at Half Hollow Hills West four days later. “Some of my buddies play for Harborfields and I didn’t want to lose and hear it from them.”
“Josh takes the ball when the game is on the line and takes it upon himself to have his best game,” Glenn coach Charly Rogener said. “It was like a playoff environment in somewhat of a cross-town rivalry. He always brings his best to those games.”
Trailing by as many as nine points, Rogener credited Fenner, the program’s all-time leading scorer, for showcasing his leadership abilities and putting the team on his back throughout the night.
“I saw a kid that was refusing to lose,” Rogener said. “Harborfields came out with a good gameplan and shot the ball really well. We were down but he had a fire in his eyes. He just took it upon himself to score at will and keep us in the game.”
Understanding this will be his final season donning a Knights uniform, Fenner places significant emphasis on his leadership role.
“To me it’s very important,” Fenner said. “I think to myself every night whether it’s a game or practice that it’s over after this year. We have a young team and I just try to push them. I just try to keep them motivated to become better each day and they’ll know what to do once I’m gone.”
Which is one of the many reasons why Rogener believes Fenner is one of the most exceptional talents on Long Island.
“I wouldn’t take another kid on the island for my team for what he brings to us,” Rogener said. “That’s not a knock on anyone else, but on the court I don’t see many players doing what he does.”