Student athlete profile - Yaseen Halabi

Yaseen Halabi


When did your water polo journey begin?

I lived in California before moving here as a sophomore. (Water polo) is really big out there - it's like football in Texas. I started playing club around sixth grade year-round.

How have you evolved as competitor?

I've seen a big improvement in my swimming. I never learned how to swim, but during COVID I watched YouTube videos and learned the techniques. That was a tough adjustment at a big swim school like Hinsdale Central.

What are you excited for as a senior?

I'm just really excited to show up for tournaments and surprise people.

How do you lead as a team co-captain?

I play point position, so I'm usually the guy calling out the plays and starting with the ball. I always like to give my teammates tips, push them at practice, call them out when they're being lazy in passing. If they mess up a drill, I'll be the one to demo it for them.

What's the biggest challenge?

I'm fasting for Ramadan, so it's been pretty tough. When you're in a three-game tournament and it's the third game of the day, you want to go your hardest, but it's just hard when you're low on energy.

How would your teammates describe you?

I feel like I bring some humor to the table, not super-intense. I think they would tell you that I push them and genuinely do try to make them better at the game.

Do you have goals for the season?

I want to take fewer shots and make better passes. And I want more endurance.

Where to next year?

I'm going to the University of Illinois to study computer science.

Any secret talents?

I taught myself piano and am good at origami. I'm also good at balancing things on my body.

Why does head coach Christy Brodell like having Halabi on the squad?

Yaseen is a very skilled player. But most importantly, he's just a really great kid. He is encouraging to his teammates, he's a leader in the water and helps facilitate both our offense and our defense. He loves water polo and he spreads that energy. We're going to miss him a lot.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff