Gaels add on top performers in hopes for five-peat



Freshman Parker Weiss made the Second Team All-State as a senior in his home state of Florida while Freshman Michael Ortale Jr. has over 1,000 points in his career so far.

Daniel Abbate, Staff Writer

The Iona men’s basketball team is preparing for the upcoming season as they look to extend their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship streak to five in a row. On the squad, two new faces have emerged. Parker Weiss and Michael Ortale Jr. will be the only freshmen on the roster for the reigning champs.

Weiss, a guard from Naples, Florida, is now playing for Iona after a successful high school career at the Community School of Naples. During his time there, Weiss set the record for the most three-pointers made in the history of the school, as well as recording nine three-pointers in a single game. As a high school senior, Weiss averaged 20 points and two steals per game while shooting 40% on three-pointers. His shooting will help the Gaels spread the floor and unlock new opportunities on their offense.

Ortale, a guard from Delmar, New York, joined the team as a walk-on after playing for Bethlehem Central High School and his local City Rocks Amateur Athletic Union program. After suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of his junior season, Ortale returned to the court his senior year and recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game for his final high school season.

Ortale finished out his high school basketball career with a chip on his shoulder that will likely carry over to the college level. Prior to his injury, Ortale was a highly scouted prospect in the MAAC conference and received an offer from Siena College. His recruitment process was derailed after his injury as college coaches pulled away from their prior interest. Ortale will start the season with the confidence that he gained from a solid comeback season with Bethlehem.

Both Ortale and Weiss are starting the season with a lot to prove. Being the only freshmen on a championship roster is intimidating, and both players will be looking for opportunities to prove that they belong. As standouts at their respective high schools, Weiss and Ortale will look to carry their play over to a division-one program against the toughest competition they have faced in their basketball careers. These two have a significant amount of potential that they will have the opportunity to showcase throughout the season during both games and team practices.

The Iona men’s basketball team begin their season on Nov. 9 with a match at La Salle College. The Gaels’ first home game is on Nov. 13 against Ohio University.