LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) – Long Island Lutheran has built an impressive basketball powerhouse in Nassau County. The boys’ basketball team won their ninth federation championship last season.

The Crusaders have their eyes set on something much bigger this year.

“They have us started out much higher. Somewhere between three and five in all the national rankings,” Long Island Lutheran head coach John Buck told PIX11 News. “Whatever it is, you embrace it and approach the season in a unique way. I think why would you not want something like that.”

It’s been more than a decade since a boys’ basketball team from the tri-state won a national championship. Long Island Lutheran is confident they can end that drought, especially with five-star senior VJ Edgecombe.

“People expect us not to overcome what we did last year,” Edgecombe explained about losing last year in the GEICO national quarterfinals. “This team is going to be great. Mark my words.”

Long Island Lutheran’s season tips off on Nov. 30 against Oak Hill Academy.