Wesling brothers look to make memories, achieve playoff success

James and Nate Wesling both play on the Varsity basketball team.

Ethan Spozarski and Carson Chapel

Brothers James and Nate Wesling first played basketball together on a youth team nine years ago. Now they are both on the Baldwin varsity team, helping lead the Highlanders into a playoff matchup against North Allegheny next Tuesday. 

“It was fun to be able to play together and be on the same team, but it is much different in high school because we are so much better than we used to be, though it is still a great memory,” junior James Wesling said.

Freshman Nate Wesling agreed. 

“So much is different now because James and I are able to truly understand how important some aspects of the game are and the moments are,” he said. 

James Wesling said having his brother on the same team inspires him. 

“I wouldn’t say it is a competition between us, but we always push each other to be the best players we can,” he said.

Nate Wesling has a different way of explaining a similar feeling.

“One hundred percent it’s a competition because everything that he has done for this team only makes me want to do better,” Wesling said. 

Both Wesling brothers put in a lot of effort, and that work ethic has been noticed by their teammates.

“I’ve learned a lot from James and Nate. I love playing with both of them and they’ve always motivated me to just go harder and harder and keep getting better, and we all push each other at practice,” sophomore Nate Richards said. 

The duo has been a significant part of the Highlanders’ success this season. 

“James and Nate are a big help to the team. James is a huge scorer for us and so is Nate as well, and with him being only a freshman, he’s going to be great for us for the next few years to come,” Richards said. 

The brothers’ relationship can be seen on and off the court. 

“Their relationship is unbreakable. They both have each other’s back on and off the court. They definitely show it on the court by cheering each other on when one is struggling and when one needs help with something like a play,” Richards said. 

Junior AJ Cherico and James Wesling had been good friends before playing together. Now that they are on the same team, both players benefit. 

“He really has pushed me as a player and I’m sure I have pushed him,” he said. “We both just want to be great players.” 

Cherico also said both brothers provide crucial aspects to their team play. 

“James definitely brings our offense to another level. Even if teams try to stop him, it opens up opportunities for other players like Nate,” he said. “Nate brings a silent energy and he can make a huge play and keep a straight face while doing it. This really gets us hyped and is a huge piece of our success.” 

The last time the boys basketball team made the playoffs was 2014, with the exception of last year, when every team made playoffs due to Covid-related scheduling issues. Now, after finishing third in their section, the Highlanders face North Allegheny away on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

For James Wesling, this will be his second WPIAL playoff game.

“It is much different than a normal game,” Wesling said. “It is more intense, with more pressure put on us players.” 

However, he feels this experience can be one to remember with his brother, win or lose. 

“It is pretty fun to have this fun and cool moment with him and be a part of the memory,” he said.