Varsity Basketball: Preseason Preview

By Jonathan Mayers

We are less than a week away from the start of the 2019-2020 PSAL Varsity season! The Uncommon Times sat down with Team Manager Aljay Lawes to look into the Sabers expectations for this season.

Uncommon Times: Where did they leave off last season? What are the stakes?

Aljay Lawes: Well, last year we finished 3rd we were two wins away from championship glory, we felt pretty  disappointed after that loss to Fannie Lou. This off season, the guys have been in the gym working on their game and just perfecting their craft. I’ve seen major improvement in Shannon’s game.

Uncommon Times: How do they feel looking forward?

Aljay Lawes: This year, we are going to pick up where we left off we going for the borough title first, and then we are looking at that city and state championship. Initially, I was going to join and play my last year with the guys, but I got injured so Coach Drew offered me a spot as the team manager so I took this opportunity.

Uncommon Times: What is the relationship like with Coach Drew ?

Aljay Lawes: Coach Drew is like an advisor for me and the guys. He makes sure we are good on and off the court, he wanted me to be in this position because he knows I know the guys more than he does, that’s why you never see us alone we are always together.

The Sabers look to redeem their defeat in the semifinals and try again with a breakout season in the 2019-2020 year. The Sabers go on the road to Maxwell High School on November 19th.

Top Five Games on Your Phone

By Arkeen Dunlap

Why do people play games on their phone? Well, some people can’t get behind using controllers, and people want to play games wherever they are. Here’s my top five list of games you can play and download.


1. Mario Kart Tour

People love to have one of their favorite childhood video games playable on their phone for free.


2. Fortnite Mobile

For people who do love Fortnite, it is nice to have fortnite on wherever you go.


3. The Sims Mobile

It is convenient to have the ability to watch over your city wherever you are.


4. Call of Duty Mobile

Finally, you don’t have to bring your console or PC somewhere to have fun COD matches against each other.


5. PUBG Mobile

Nice to have a battle royale experience on the go.

Uncommon Times: Advice for Quarter 2

It’s a new quarter at UCHS, full of promise and potential. To help their fellow Sabers start the quarter strong, the staff writers from the Uncommon Times offered this advice.


For quarter two I think everyone should do their homework every night. You get started off with a clean slate so you should take advantage of it! I know I don’t focus well at home and I get distracted easily, so I stay back with my teacher and get it done — that way if I need help I can ask, and I’m also getting my work done leaving me time to chill at home.

  • Adia Brooks, Grade 10

Sabers should find a way to relax to reduce anxiety for test and IAs. They also should find a way of studying that best suits them to prepare for those tests.

  • Elise Smith, Grade 10

Do your homework because if not it can bring down your grade and gpa average. Use all the practice you can to master each topic.

  • Iyana Wilson, Grade 10

Keep up with the homework and make sure that it doesn’t catch up and stress you out later. Pace yourself well so that you will get enough sleep!

  • Shania Brown, Grade 10

Keep in mind that teachers are here to teach and help you. Use them to catch up, get ahead, and get on top of your work. If you think a teacher doesn’t like you… it doesn’t matter! Feelings are feelings but your grades help your future ❤

  • Rodley Charles, Grade 10

In quarter 2 in order to keep your grades up,make sure to complete all your homework and turn it in on time, and study for tests and quizzes. If you have office hours or after school activities make sure to attend them.

  • Kelly Castillo, Grade 10


UCHS Students Attend Climate March

On Friday, September 20th an estimated 250,000 people, including me, showed up at Foley Square, ready to walk to Battery Park. Most of us were students who just walked out of class to join the fight against climate change. Teenagers filled the streets of Manhattan in unimaginable heat, all sweating but chanting “hey hey, ho ho, climate change has got to go!” Us young kids of the world are going to inherit this world that our parents have left behind, but our world is dying.Climatemarch

The global climate strike was organized by 16 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Many are astounded that such a young girl planned one of the largest global strikes in history, but this just goes to show that no one is ever too young to fight to make a change in the world. In her speech in Battery Park, Thunberg said “we will hold those who are the most responsible for this crisis accountable..and we will make world leaders act, we can and we will.”     

Seven of UCHS’ own sabers left after 3rd period to participate in the march. “It’s inspiring, “ said UCHS teacher Ms. Samlalsingh, “It’s inspiring to  know [we] are the ones in charge of the future” and it fills her with hope. 

Other participants had similar reasons for attending. For instance, Ms. Kitchens believes that it is important that her students have a world to live in.

“When we think about education we think about empowerment,” Kitchens said. “but what is more empowering than giving students a voice to actually enact change in their community. ” 

Many teens are advocating for climate change above all the other issues they could be fighting for because, climate change is “a present issue…for humanity as a whole and…the United States government has obviously refute[d] the basic evidence that shows that it’s a current issue.” says Basil Henry, a junior at UCHS. 

The world is at stake and it is our job as young adults to take the lead and fight the power because as many signs read:

                       There is no Planet B

Douglas Tallies 33, Sabers Two Wins Away From PSAL Glory

By Jonathan Mayers Class of 2021

The Sabers (21-2) continued their historic PSAL playoff push with a dominant 62-36 win over Jane Addams High School last Sunday. For the first time in school history that the Sabers have advanced to the PSAL B Division Final Four  In previous years Jane Addams has defeated the Sabers, but a full presidential term later, the Sabers demolished this team from the Bronx.

The Sabers remained consistent throughout the entire game on both the defensive end, led by the relentless face guarding defense of junior point guard Quavon Daniel, and the offensive end, led by junior guard Ahzariah Douglas’ playoff career high 33 points.

Douglas got the ball rolling with a easy pull up jumper off a finessed inbound pass from junior guard Doran Williams. Despite key defensive stops the Sabers, Jane Addams took the lead in the late 1st quarter and the score was tied at the end of 1 (10-10)  The Sabers used this close score as motivation and blew the game open in the 2nd quarter.

Early in the 2nd quarter junior forward and team captain, Caleb Brown snagged his own rebound with a put back to turn on the gears for the Sabers. Douglas continued the onslaught with a layup followed by drawing a foul on a three point attempt (converting 2 of 3 at the line). The Sabers allowed their defense to flourish holding Addams scoreless for the first five minutes of the 2nd quarter while going on a scoring siege of their own capped by Brown ending the first half with a fade-away buzzer beating basket and a 17 point Saber lead (33-17).


This Saber team has fought so hard, in practice, on the court, even when they were down in games to reach to this point, and now the Sabers are two wins away from claiming their destiny and becoming city champions.

The Sabers attempt to make their city hoop title dreams reality facing tomorrow Wednesday March 13th at 6:45 PM against the #4 seed Fannie Lou Hamer of the Bronx in the 4th floor Achievement First Brooklyn HS Gymnasium.


When the White Boy Went to the Quiceñera Part TWO

By Bianca Arce Class of 2020

Click here for part one!


“Hey, Son! Where’s your vest?” yelled my father from his downward dog. I stopped at the front door, reluctantly walking back to the living room where my father was doing his daily yoga.

“Oh, uh, Ely said that I would have a hard time fitting in with one on. Besides Dad, who even wears vests anymore? I’m not going to a wedding.”

“Ok! Mr. Fashion Police, sorry if my classy suit is too much for you. That suit-” he said in his cobra position, “-in its day was a real lady magnet. Without it, you wouldn’t have been conceived my boy.”

From the home office I could hear my mom cackling and soon after started choking on her coffee.

“Don’t laugh Claire-” his voice was now mumbled as he sat in childs pose, and I, was getting increasingly annoyed.

My mother came out if the kitchen rubbing club soda over her large coffee stain. “Do you have the address?” I patted my left breast pocket and mumbled a “yep”. My dad stood up, taking out his yoga pants wedgie and standing next to my mother. They were quite a sight.

“Now, you have fun at this party ok? Be sure to dance and mingle, don’t feel the need to be a macho in front of your girlfriend.” My mother adjusted my glasses, moving her hand to caress my cheek. “Oh, you look so handsome. I hope Ely appreciates what she has.” I gave her a smile and she lit up, hugging me without giving me eye contact. She backed up and my dad stepped in.

He placed a firm grip onto my shoulder and looked into my eyes. “No kissing, no feeling up, no non-consensual sex, no-”

“Dad! What the heck? It’s a birthday, what do you think I’m going to do there?”

“You’re a young boy, and I’m not going to pretend I don’t know what goes on in that head of yours.”

“Ok I’m leaving. And it’s NOT so I can seduce my girlfriend at her cousins party, but so I can immerse myself in a rich culture that doesn’t involve skin tight leggings, for crying out loud Dad!” he grabbed a towel from the floor and covered his groin area. If I hadn’t asked him to cover up, knowing my mother, she’d probably start comparing it to mine.

I kiss both of my parents and take the car keys from the Bob Ross figurine they were hanging off of. “¡Adios mi amigos!” I said before closing the door.

“They’re going to destroy him.” said my mother before I stepped off the porch.


Sabers Move on to Elite Eight in Playoff Blowout

By Jonathan Mayers Class of 2021

With their 71-38 victory over Community Health Academy Tuesday evening in the second round of the PSAL B division, the Uncommon Sabers move onto the Elite Eight and are now just three victories away from fulfilling their destiny to hang up a PSAL Championship banner in their home gym.

AZ Drive
Ahzariah Douglas attacks all five Community Health defenders late in the 3rd quarter Photo Credit: Mr. Berlin

Junior guard Ahzariah Douglas opened the scoring with a easy basket to get the Sabers momentum flowing, entering a different mindset for the playoffs. That momentum flowed through the entire rest of the team as junior forward Caleb Brown was able to get a points on the board off Douglas’ defensive rebound, which led to a clutch steal from lockdown defender Doran Williams and a deep three pointer from junior Quavon Daniel.

Although the Sabers started off hot, Community Health Academy began to creep on the Sabers firing back with a 3 pointer leaving the Sabers only up three at the end of the first quarter, 17-14.

In the huddle Coach Wright alerted his players that the score shouldn’t be close in this game at all and if the Sabers wanted to expand the lead they would need to crash the glass on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

The Sabers took note on Coach’s words and that produced results early in the 2nd Quarter. Junior DeAndre Abrams opened up the 2nd with a smooth finish in the lane, followed by continuous attempts at the free throw line for his teammate Caleb Brown, who was proficient making 4/4 free throws in the 2nd Quarter. Quavon Daniel finessed with a smooth left hand finish to end the 2nd quarter, but despite the great offensive push, Community Health only trailed by five heading into the halftime break.

Sabers needed more fuel in the locker room and Coach Dave stepped in and told that Sabers that the lead shouldn’t be this close and that the offense will flow automatically if defensive intensity picked up in the second half.

The Sabers heeded those wise words and executed the game plan perfectly. Douglas drove to the lane for an easy two points to get his teammates rolling to score countless buckets off of huge defensive stops and a total of 37 rebounds. This lead was extended with help from the Sabers bench as senior Ethan Vilmé entered the game late 4th Quarter, snagging tough rebounds, and going to the line.. In, the last seconds of the game junior guard Sajed Muhummad put the icing on the cake with a tough corner 3 to end the game.

The Sabers continue their playoff push seeking their first ever PSAL Championship as the move on to the Elite Eight to face Jane Addams High School, this Sunday March 10 at 4:00 PM here at UCHS.

How You Should Feel About Pizza

By Josh Joseph-H Class of 2019


Little Caesars is the every-man’s pizza and it’s only this low on the list because it is affordable and average.

pizza hut

When you think pizza, Pizza Hut is the last thing on your mind. It’s dead last on the list for a reason. It is not good. The pizza is either covered in an inhumane amount of grease or is just disgustingly under-cooked. It’s a product that’s assembled and delivered with no care from both the employees and the company itself. It’s not even a pizza, it’s a last resort.


This is only here to make fun of Pizza Hut.




Domino’s is no doubt a good delivery pizza, but it’s still not the best due to the varying levels of quality at any given Domino’s.


Sbarro is a decent pizza, but again it lacks that special distinction to make the pizza worth consistently getting.


Papa Johns is undoubtedly the best delivery pizza. The quality at which it reaches your door is so high they could send the wrong pizza and I’d be fine with it.

papa johns

Cicis is just standard pizza but at a buffet so the quantity increases it’s placement on the list.

cicis pizza


Any non fast food or delivery Pizza is better than what your get delivered to your door 85% of the time.

NYC Pizza


When the White Boy Went to the Quiceñera Part 1

Short story by Bianca Arce Class of 2020

“If you stop fidgeting, the gel might hold”

“I’m not fidgeting”

Mentiras, I’ve been handling this stray of hair for the past five minutes, why are you so nervous? It’s a quiceñera.”

“Yeah, a quiceñera with your parents, I’m pretty sure our relationship is forbidden.”

“Yeah to your parents, I’m the immigrant that lured their son into my mexican traps.” I chuckled as her arms wrapped around my shoulders. “My parents love you, probably more than they love their own son. They only met you for a split second at homecoming and they were already talking to me about grandkids.”

“And it’s going to be the same way with my family. Just because you’re a blanquito doesn’t mean they’ll hate you. They might be a little hard headed at first, but soon they’ll love you like I do. There, i’m done.” She spun my chair to reveal my flamboyant hairdo. My dark blond hair was encrusted in a heavy layer of gel, emulating the style of 1950’s greaser.

“I look like Elvis.” i shook my head to see none of my hair strands moving.

“Elvis wore grease in his hair, this is long wear gel.” She scrubbed her hands of the stuff and walked over to my tuxedo. “Oh my God, is this Armani?” her face was astounded.

“Yeah, it was my dad’s I wanted to look nice for your cousin’s party. What?” The suit was an elegant navy color, with padding in the shoulders to masquerade my wimpy physique when I’d stand next to Ely’s cousins.

“This suit smells like money Alex. It shows off the fact that you have more money than everyone there. You can keep the pants and the jacket, but the shirt and vest have to go.”

“Its an old suit, it doesn’t smell like money, it smells like lint.”

Cambia tu ropa I’ll be doing my hair at my parents house, meet me there in an hour, ok?” she leaned in and kissed me on the cheek, “See you soon blanquito.”


The Sabers continue their quest for #1 seed, defeat Molloy 63-56

By Jonathan Mayers Class of 2021 Boys Basketball Beat Writer

Coming off a rivalry victory against AF Brooklyn High School, the Sabers (16-1) continued to build their postseason resume at the Big North Shootout Invitational defeating Archbishop Molloy High School, a widely renowned AA Catholic team from Queens by the score of 63-56.  Going into this matchup there had been major speculation about whether a charter school could conquer the challenge of facing AA catholic team. With this win, the Sabers climb to the #7 ranked school in PSAL B Division, led by their #50 state-ranked junior forward Ahzariah Douglas.

The Sabers started the first quarter shaky, allowing Molloy to put up 20 points.  But, only down by 4 after the 1st quarter, the Sabers turned on the gasin the second led by Douglas and strong defense, along with the advocacy of the Sabers’ bench. The bench loudly yelled out the tactical defensive strategy to freeze the Molloy Stanners offense and preventing them from entering the paint defended b powerhouse senior center Joel Carty who pulled down 18 of the teams total 47 rebounds. Junior guard Deandre Abrams, added clutch buzzer beater to send the Sabers only down 8 by halftime.

Despite the 8-point deficit, Sabers came with a storm out of the locker room. The Sabers cowed the Molloy Stanners causing them to call several timeouts in the 3rd quarter, junior Doran Williams’ steal, basket and free throw lead to Douglas’ deep corner three, which fueled junior forward Caleb Brown’s ability to attack the paint with ease and make money free throws to quickly put the Molloy Stanners away. Now, down 48-45 the Sabers’ stopwatch rang out and, they knew it was time to put the widely renowned AA team to sleep.

Defense showed out in final quarter of this battle, The class of ‘20 dynamic duo had a pair of essential block to the Sabers defensive successes. Which sparked the great offensive ball movement, lead by Ahzariah Douglas with the classic Saber ‘4 out’ isolation where Douglas shred the Molloy Stanners guards to pieces scoring six points in the late fourth quarter, impressing various scouts in the audience

The Sabers, transition back to their PSAL domination as they face Spring Creek HS at home next Tuesday January 29th, 2019.

Thank You to Big North Shootout Hoops, for allowing our Sabers to showcase their skills and talents!