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Jordan Kalman with Brian Shaw, The World's Strongest Man

Noah Cohen

Community Editor

If you ever happen to wander to the back of the Milken gymnasium, you will most likely find athletic directors and coaches hard at work. They may be icing someone’s leg or intensely discussing the most recent sports game. Just as frequently, you may also find Jordan Kalman ‘18 working out in the weight room. He is not just another Milken student casually attempting to fit some physical activity into his busy day. Kalman is well known around school for being an intensely dedicated athlete and fitness expert. Not only has Kalman broken many Milken student records, he has also been named “The Strongest Kid in Miken History” by the athletic department. Surprisingly, Kalman has not always been so dedicated to fitness and personal health. The Roar sat down with Kalman in an exclusive interview to discuss his techniques, motivation, and hopes for the future.

Can you tell me a little about your personal fitness history?

I was first introduced to weights in the ninth grade, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. I ended up doing basically the same two exercises every time, without getting any results. Eventually, with the help of other kids and adults, as well as my own research, I was able to learn more exercises. Even so, I was still unable to get good results because my nutrition was so bad. I ate whatever I wanted and never thought to pay attention to my diet. I started to understand what I was eating towards the end of ninth grade, but I still did not count calories or protein or anything. Not until I came back from camp the summer after freshman year did I change. I busted myself as hard as I could and went to the gym every day. I ate very healthy in order to lose weight for football. I started this regimen to prepare for football and I wanted to be as best as I could be. I wanted to be on the team and actually make a difference, not just be an extra body. Throughout the football season I got skinnier, but once the season ended, I would end up snacking all the time. The snacking caught up to me and I started to gain some weight back. One day I said to myself, “You gotta get back and work hard.” I did all the research and learned about nutrition, exercise, and health. It was trial and error. I made a very strict meal plan, but that did not work out because I couldn’t tell myself what I would enjoy. This caused too many cheat days. It was very difficult to have that willpower and that mindset. I’m always an advocate for treating yourself occasionally, but when you’re on a diet, you realize not to take these treats for granted. I started making all my own food and counting my calories. I didn’t realize that fat really helps to fuel your brain. I would get very dizzy when I was pushing myself too hard, but the doctor told me how important fat was. I focused on taking in a lot more fat. It’s really important to have a balanced diet and not be missing key macronutrients.

Video of Kalman bench pressing over 200 lbs

How has getting in shape changed your life?

As I continued to work out and supplemented that with a good diet, I saw great results. I saw myself getting stronger and more fit. My confidence soared. People started to say things and noticed the changes. It was interesting to see people noticing how strong I was looking. It felt great. The weights went up, I started benching and lifting a lot, and saw more definition. It motivates you much more when you see results. The biggest problem is when you work out and see no results. This causes so much discouragement. Don’t worry about the scale because the scale means so little. If you feel healthier and look healthier, then you are healthier. The weight doesn’t matter. The point is that sometimes it’s more about being physically fit and having a fit lifestyle than just having “the look.” But at the same time, you can’t just look at your body as a quick fix. It’s a lifestyle that you need to maintain. Once you start paying attention to the health in your life, you can find a way to change it permanently. It needs to be a passion. As a lot of my friends know, I take pride in my food and my workout plan. It makes me feel good because I know that it is helping me.

What are some Milken titles that you have broken?

Early in the year, I broke the school bench press record. The challenge was how many times you can bench 95 pounds. The record before was 42 reps of 95 lbs by Adam Zively ‘15. I was able to hit 50 reps in November. That title still stands. Even though I’m not someone to gloat about a record, it still feels good. I love to bench and I love to own that record. It’s pretty cool. For deadlift I can do 400 lbs, more than any student ever in Milken history. And I can also squat 380lbs. Again, this is more than any other student has ever done.

What are some tips you have for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

I recommend walking a lot and exercising regularly. When I started, my goal was to take 14,000 steps a day. I would go on two mile walks with my dog. I could clear my head, reflect on the day, and still get exercise. For some people that aren’t as intense as I am about this, who don’t count every calorie and nutrient, who can just have a healthy mindset and understand health and activity, then you should be fine. While the calorie counting and intensity is good for me, it doesn’t work for everyone. Listen to your body and enjoy what you eat and have a good time getting fit. There will be sacrifices, but I promise that it is worth it. I think the most important thing is not to try and replicate someone else’s body. You see these fitness models and bodybuilders and clearly these people have God-given genetics or take steroids and supplements. You don’t need to look like them because that is not healthy. They have high blood pressure, are very sick, and have ruined their bodies. Just trust the basics and keep it simple.

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Emily Vanek

Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to be on a gameshow? Milken senior Alexandra Ashoori ‘17 did just that when she went on Wheel of Fortune and won $35,000. Wheel of Fortune is a game show that has been around for about 30 years now, so most teenagers have seen a few episodes or have at least heard about it. For readers who do not know how the game works, the contestants solve word puzzles to win cash and prizes. Ashoori and her best friend, Lexie Ravaei, auditioned for “Teen Best Friends Week” and were selected to be on the show. Surprisingly, Ashoori had never seen an episode of the show and did not know what she was in for. When Ravaei’s mother signed them up, the girls needed to decide how to prepare for their big moment. Looking for ways to research, Ashoori was soon able to get a taste of what to expect on the show by playing the Wheel of Fortune App.

Ashoori describes her experience as “so much fun” despite the lengthy filming. She was especially surprised that both the set and the audience were significantly smaller than how they appeared on television. Although Ashoori had never watched an episode of Wheel of Fortune, she still recognized the hosts of the show, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. “They were really nice and had a lot of funny jokes,” she said. When given the honor of spinning the wheel, Ashoori remembers it being extremely heavy: “I had to spin the wheel the whole time because my friend wasn’t able to do it.”

Despite some difficult words, Ashoori and Ravaei reached the final round. Unfortunately, they did not win the $100,000 prize because they guessed the final word incorrectly. However, they did win $35,000, a trip to Virginia, and a trip to Hawaii. When asked about what she plans on doing with her reward, Ashoori replied, “I plan on going shopping!”


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Michael Bolour
Staff Writer

Milken’s Boys Varsity Basketball team recently concluded what most believe to be the greatest sports season in our school’s history. Not only did the team win the Liberty League title, but most notably, the CIF division 4A championship as well. When the playoffs began, students, faculty and parents began to rally behind this group of talented players. Among these supporters was Tamir Saban, a former Milken varsity basketball team member. In 2015, Saban joined the Milken community and instantly became a fan favorite on the basketball team. Saban led the team in average points per game during the 2015-2016 season. With fellow sophomore teammates Amitai Afenjar ‘18 and Aaron Harouni ‘18 joining him on the varsity team, the future looked bright for Milken basketball. However, Tamir’s outstanding skills opened new opportunities for him to advance his high school basketball career.

The following year (2016-2017), Saban transferred to Crossroads School located in Santa Monica. This basketball season, Saban got the opportunity to play with the likes of junior Shareef O’neal, son of NBA legend Shaquille O’neal, as well as Arizona commit Ira Lee. The Roar sat down with Tamir to discuss the process of switching schools and how far he has gone since he first started at Milken back in late 2015.


How has the transferring process been to Crossroads?

“It’s been great. People here are really nice and welcoming. Of course at the start it wasn’t easy, like any new transition, but overall, it has been a great process. I’m glad to say that I have made great friends at both Milken and Crossroads so far.”

What is the biggest difference between your experience at Milken as a basketball player and your experience at Crossroads?

“The biggest difference was probably
the precision and speed of the game at Crossroads. During practice, everything must be precise. The level of performance is very important here, especially because there are many photographers who come to our practices and games, and they film every step we take. We also have a much bigger coaching staff who analyze every move we make to help us perform at a higher level. Even before the game, Coach brings us videos of our opponents so that when we come to the game, we know them and we are not surprised by anything.”

What do you miss most about Milken?

“I miss plenty of stuff from Milken: my friends, teachers and just the Jewish community and atmosphere of the school. I’m glad I got to experience going to school at Milken because I wouldn’t be the same person I am now without the time I spent there.”

How have you grown as a player from 10th to 11th grade?

“I feel that I have improved and grown in every aspect of my game. Shooting, passing, ball handling and most of all, my ability to see the floor better. It’s been a great process of improvement and learning, but I have plenty more work ahead of me.”

Have you heard about Milken’s recent success including a league championship and CIF playoff run? If so what is you reaction?

“Yeah, of course! I came and supported a few games this year too. The atmosphere was insane! The team really gave it their all! I am happy Milken won CIF and gave the school something to cheer about and have spirit for. I was definitely a fan just like every other student who attended the games, but I also feel a connection with everyone on the team and it made me so much more ecstatic and excited when they came out with the CIF championship.”

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Courtesy of Dylan Shooshani '18

Sophia Ghadoushi

Staff Writer

Dylan Shooshani ‘18 has always been into fashion. Recently, he has started a brand new clothing line, Laurel Way. About a year ago, Shooshani visited a shop on Melrose where he got the idea to create a denim jacket as a gift for his friend. After his friend received several compliments on the jacket, Shooshani began to think of creating his own brand, starting with distressed denim jackets. A few months later, Shooshani also created hoodie designs to supplement his line.  

Courtesy of Dylan Shooshani ’18

Shooshani became more passionate about fashion around a year ago when trying to purchase a pair of Pirate Black Yeezy’s designed by Adidas and Kanye West. Since then, he has been in love with the fashion industry. Some of the brands that inspire Shooshani, in addition to Kanye West, include Jerry Lorenzo (Fear of God), Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Supreme and Gucci.

The name of the brand, Laurel Way, has significant meaning to Shooshani. Not only is it the name of the street he grew up on, but the rose also holds sentimental value since his mother always has roses around the house.

Shooshani expresses that his clothing line is an outlet to express himself. He strives to make clothing that is not only meaningful for himself, but also aesthetically pleasing for everyone. In addition, Shooshani describes his line as comfortable and of the highest quality.

The line is currently unisex, but Shooshani is working on making clothing specific for both men and women. His favorite item from his collection is the Road Hoodie because it is simple, yet interesting. “No one knows what it is at first glance,” says Shooshani. The line has hoodies starting at $85 and distressed vintage jackets from $150.

Courtesy of Dylan Shooshani ’18

While the website is under construction until March, you can find the line on Laurel Way’s instagram.



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Michael Schulman


“Live in today, plan for tomorrow” was the quote that inspired Jordan Anstey’s freshman self to start his own clothing company, Free Maverick. Now, as a mature and reflective senior, he is “extremely proud” of all the work he and his business partner and best friend Spencer Cait, who attends De Toledo High School, have accomplished, but they are just getting started. The Roar sat down with this fascinating entrepreneur, artist and go-getter to learn his secrets to success.

Like any great company, Free Maverick is driven by a mission and a set of values. “Free Maverick was just a concept that we built our company around,” Anstey explained. In this modern day of social media and conformity, the company is committed to teaching others to be “true to themselves and not letting others influence them or bring them down.” The name itself is very symbolic, as a “maverick” is someone who is an “independent and open-minded person.” When asked what makes a true artist, Anstey told The Roar that it is someone who “carries their unique soul and energy with them expressing it with everything they do.” Inspired by this creativity and overall powerful message, Anstey and Cait were able to create clothing that everyone could enjoy.

Anstey is a very “hands on” entrepreneur who was heavily involved in the creation of the logos, designs and look of Free Maverick clothing. Each piece of soft, comfortable clothing sports Free Maverick’s signature logo of a wave. Free Maverick’s clothing can be considered high quality, yet casual, perfect for a day at the beach. As of now, the company makes only t-shirts and tank tops for men and women, but they hope to expand their clothing options in the future. Apparel is now available for purchase at “The Beach House” store on Abbot Kinney and on their website, While still working on Free Maverick, it has been very tough this year for Anstey because he is in midst of the college process, and he plans “to revamp the company and expand next year.”

Along with Free Maverick, Anstey and Cait have started another company that is connected to Free Maverick, called Indeep. Indeep promotes local DJs and creates opportunities for them to show their music to the public. Being an electro-house DJ himself and able to proficiently play the guitar, drums and piano, he has a deep appreciation for music. While he does not create his own music, Anstey created a platform called “DJ Night” where about “15-20 people come chill in a room where [he] and a few others DJ a 25-minute set, revealing all new music that [they] have found and kept secret from each other.”

Whether it has been fashion or music, Anstey believes that “no one can stop someone from achieving their goals if they have a burning passion to share their innovative products with the world.” However, that does not mean the “doubters” do not exist. In fact, Anstey explains that one of the hardest things about starting Free Maverick was dealing with people who would occasionally say that “it won’t work” or “this is a waste of time.” Anstey kept moving forward with his dream, and did not let the critics get in the way of his goals.

Two companies, multiple partnerships and numerous connections later, Jordan Anstey has accomplished a lot in the past four years. When asked about what advice he would give to young entrepreneurs, Anstey squashed the misconception that “a great company stems from a great idea,” explaining that “an idea is only 10% of an entrepreneur’s success. The other 90% consists of hard work, passion and perseverance.”

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Mira Berenbaum

Social Media Director

Milken’s very own “Singa J,” commonly known by his birth name, Jordan Brenner ‘17, won a Grammy Award last month. Though it flew under the radar because Singa J doesn’t like to brag, The Roar sat down with him to learn more about his career and his exceptional achievement.

How did your career start?

I always knew I had a gift. Ever since I was the tiniest of children, I knew that I had to share my gift with the world. Singa J Nation and I really started taking off earlier this year, and I attribute my success to them.

Were you surprised by the “W” at the Grammys?


How is this advancing your career?

It doesn’t mean that much to me honestly. I know that I’m the best, and I don’t need some dumb award to tell me that.

What are your plans for next year?

Just going to continue what I’m doing, building my brand. I plan to skip out on college to go out on a world tour and break all existing ties.

What is your favorite song that you sing?

“I Knew you were Trouble” (Taylor Swift), thank you very much. Actually, “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift, thank you.

Mazal Tov to Singa J on this amazing accomplishment. Milken cannot wait to see where your career takes you from here.

To watch all of Singa J’s hits, click here.

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Jennifer Clemens
Creative Editor

Milken senior, Brian Pearlman ‘17, sat down with The Roar to discuss his experience of playing in one of the best seasons that the Varsity Boys’ Basketball team has ever had. With its recent league victory, the team made its way to CIF Southern Section Finals for the first time ever.

How long have you been playing basketball?

I’ve been playing basketball ever since I was 5. This is my fourth year playing basketball at Milken.

What do you value most about your basketball team?

I value the love we have for each other the most. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my teammates.

What play of yours stands out most to you?

I’ll never forget Doron Matian throwing a lob to me in a game against Buckley. I don’t even know how he saw an opening, but he threw it up there and I scored it.

Is there anything you have to say to any younger student athletes?

To younger student athletes, do not give up. You might get cut or you might not make varsity at first, but if you work hard, you will definitely be rewarded.

What was your favorite part of the season?

My favorite part of the season was winning the League Championship. It was something we dreamed about in regular season, and nothing was sweeter than seeing a dream become reality.

Who is your coach and how has he impacted your experience on the team?

Coach Whiting is my coach. He is also one of the main reasons I came to Milken. I wouldn’t be the player I am today if it weren’t for him.

How does it feel to have made it to CIF?

It is humbling to make it to CIF. Thousands of teams want to be in the spot we are in, so to have a shot at the title is an opportunity I’ll only get once in my life.

What are you going to miss about the Milken basketball team when you graduate?

I am going to miss taking the court with my brothers. I love them and I have forged memories with them that I will never forget.

Do you plan on playing basketball in college?

I don’t want to play in college, although I want to be a part of the team in someway wherever I go. My goal is to be a student manager.

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Lauren Cohen

Voices Editor

Tammy Shine ‘17 is widely known as the senior who bounces through the hallways, beaming with sunshine and doling out high fives like they are nothing. Beyond Tammy’s positive aura lies her incredibly formative and diverse involvement in the Milken Community. Over the past four years, she has been an integral member of honors and AP courses, Class Council, the volleyball and waterpolo teams, NHS, rigorous art courses, and the Righteous Conversations Project. She is described by her peers as “adventurous,” “insightful,” “empathetic,” “sincere,” and “brilliant.”

The Roar sat down with Tammy to gain a deeper insight into her fascinating personality.

What are you known for? What kind of Milken student are you?

Ehh.. I think I’m known for being weird and not caring about how I appear and what I look like when I’m doing things. I think people also know that I’m kinda nerdy, and that I care about learning.

Which Milken teacher is your spirit animal?

At the core of it, it’s probably Mr. Martin. It’s definitely Martin. It just feels weird to call him my spirit animal.

What is your happy place?

Either Crater Lake [in] Oregon, like jumping off the cliff into the 40 degree water that’s just so clear you see right to the bottom, or in the middle of the mountains in Michigan with my hammock, 20 feet in the air, swinging between trees and looking up and seeing the leaves over my head.

Which kitchen utensil would you be?

The Sprife – it’s a fork, spoon, and knife. Or egg beaters. Probably the sprife, though, that’s an essential one.

Celebrity crush?

Chris Pratt. 50 Cent. All you need to know.

What is your craziest memory at Milken?

When they brought The Landfill Harmonic and I played violin in front of the whole school and the guy was like ‘You don’t know how to follow instructions!’ and I was like, ‘I just don’t know how to play violin, I’m sorry.’

When’s your next concert?

It’s tonight and it’s Girlpool. Don’t know who that is, but it’s gonna be a blast.

If you could live forever how would you spend eternity?

Probably trying to have cultural exchange with every single culture and country in the world. Even each country has so many microcosms of cultures and if there’s a way to understand all of them, you can bring so much more understanding and compassion into the world.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do and why?

I’ve always wished in MASH that I would get ice cream scooper. I always thought that was such a nice job to have. Just imagine getting to scoop ice cream.

Which decade would you travel to?

If we’re referring to the 1900s, then the ‘60s because it was a very formative time in America’s consciousness and history. Being able to experience that, rather than through a history textbook, but in real life, would change my perspective in so many ways.

A penguin walks in right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

I just have so many questions. How do I answer a question when I have questions?

If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?

Work hard, play hard. That’s it.

Which Kardashian are you?

There’s this episode when the two little ones, what are their names? Kendall and Kylie! They convinced Caitlin [who was then still Bruce] to let them adopt the dogs, and I think I’m those dogs.

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Emily Vanek

Staff Writer


Put your heart, mind, and soul into your smallest acts and you will be rewarded. Lila Hanish ‘17 did just that, while adding in the coolest moves with hips that don’t lie! Hanish has been dancing ever since she was a little girl and is now the captain of the Milken Dance Team. She has been a member of the team since the eighth grade and dance has always been a passion of hers. As a result of her hard work and dedication, Lila earned the team captain position while at the Homecoming game. She won a captain hat and got the privilege of leading the team on during the game and motivating them. With such a high position, comes a lot of responsibilities. “Now that I am captain, I am responsible for planning events for the team, creating choreography and being a positive role model and support system for all the girls on the team.”

Although Hanish has no specific pre-show ritual herself, she admires one that her coach, Andrew, leads with. As he counts to three, the girls jump up and down while holding hands, releasing their grasp at “three” and shaking out any of their nervous energy. Hanish commented, “This is a ritual I have come to cherish and is one that always helps me if I have any nervousness about performing.”

Hanish’s dance bag is filled with the expected dance necessities. “I carry jazz shoes, hip-hop shoes, a dance outfit (typically leggings and a tank top), a snack and water.” Her favorite dance snack is something healthy yet filling, like an apple or a protein bar.

Hanish’s favorite genre of dance is hip-hop: “I love being able to put my own flare into the moves and put a little swag in it. It is a style that is happy and fun and is so great to perform for school events.” The dance team has appeared in countless performances at Milken pep rallies and assemblies and always brings a lively spirit to every routine.

Although Hanish does not intend on majoring in dance in college, she hopes that dance will always be a significant part of her life and plans on incorporating it into her college experience. She is courageous enough to go after her dreams and advises those who want to join the dance team “to go for it!”

“Dance team is not only an amazing space to dance and release creative energy, but to also make connections with girls from all grades who share the common interest of dance with you. Dance team has been my amazing family inside of Milken throughout high school. To anyone who is nervous about trying out for dance team, put yourself out there and try out and I promise you won’t regret it!”


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Sara Stolzenberg-Myers

Staff Writer

Milken senior, Celine Afari ’17, sat down with The Roar to talk about her recent absence on the court. Afari has been an athlete for the Milken Wildcats basketball team all four years of her high school career, and has only recently been missing in the game. Due to her newly torn ACL and MCL, Afari has been constrained to the sidelines, where she has been actively cheering for her team. Keep reading to find out how Afari injured herself and to learn more about her experience on the team.

How long have you been on the team?

This is my fourth year on Varsity. Overall, it has been an amazing experience. When Kaitlin Banafsheha and I first started playing for Ivy (Milken girls varsity basketball coach), we were the youngest players. To compare how we were then to how we are now, being the oldest players on the team is something really special. I see how much I’ve grown on and off the court and I realize how constant basketball has been for me over the years. I feel good knowing I can return the help on the court that I’ve received over the years.

How did you injure yourself?

I injured myself during our annual Milken tournament. It was the third day of the tournament and we were playing against YULA. I remember I stole the ball from their point guard and while it was rolling on the ground, their player and I were pushing each other to get it. That’s when I accidentally stepped on it. I lost my balance and both their player and I fell.

What is the injury and what happened after?

Afterwards, I had an MRI and found out that both my ACL and MCL were completely torn. During winter break, I had surgery on my MCL and in the next few weeks I’m having another surgery to repair my ACL. I also am currently doing physical therapy and am expected to be able to start working out again in the middle of February.

How has the team been doing without you?

They’re doing well! They’ve won half the games they’ve played since my injury and I know they’re working hard to qualify for CIF. I’m extremely lucky; my team has been really good about checking up on me and making me feel a part of the team.

How do you feel that this is your last year on the team?

Of course I am sad about not being able to finish my last year – especially after seeing the seniors in past years move on. But I think this injury made me really appreciate my previous years on the team. Everything about it: the parents, the players, Ivy and Danny, the teachers that would come and watch — even Sergio in the announcer box — somehow all created a basketball community. And although I am injured, I don’t feel like I am any less a part of this community. I definitely miss playing on the team, but I look forward to getting better and hopefully being able to play club or intramural in college.

What do you love about basketball?

I’ve always played basketball, it’s something I remember doing since the first grade. Throughout the years I have played on numerous teams and met many different people, but I think the main thing I love about basketball is that it is both team based and individual. There’s a sense of trusting yourself but also trusting your teammates to the sport which make it really unique. Like when you are defending someone, you feel like it’s just you and them playing one-on-one; but in the instances that you are a step behind, your teammates step up to help you out. Also, I love how it brings people together. It is a rare opportunity that I am able to be on a team with the majority of the players being the same people I grew up playing BHBL (Beverly Hills Basketball League) with.

How’s having Coach Ivy as your coach?

Ivy is one of a kind. She’s taught us how to fight for our passions and the value of unity. She’s pushed us physically and mentally to become better players and I feel as though I am a much stronger individual for playing on her team. I think that as constant as basketball was for me in past years, Ivy was as well. There’s a feeling of familiarity playing for her that I think pushes me to improve.