Freshmen Girls’ Basketball: Getting Into the Swing


Basketball season is in full swing, with the girls’ freshman team at 6-1.

Because the season is just starting, the girls have been practicing hard and learning through preliminary scrimmages, finding their way to being a team.

“I expect for us to be excellent at the start of the season,” said freshman Zoe Shepard. “We’re still trying to get to know each other.”

Shepard, #2 on the freshman team, hopes that by the end of the season, she and the team will have a better understanding of the game.

#25 Miya Tesfa also has big goals for the season.

“I want to win every game and show everyone else what we have,” the freshman said.

Everyone on the team contributes their own skills to help achieve the team’s goals.

“My biggest strength is keeping my eyes on the ball on the court,” Kai Fleetwood, #40 on the freshman team, said.

While they each have  their strengths, they also have unique challenges with the sport.

“It’s hard to get back to certain routines when you haven’t played for a while,” Shepard said.

While these girls go hard in the paint, not all their practices take place on the court. The skills needed for basketball go beyond the basic techniques of the sport.

“We do leg raises to get our core tight,” Shepard said. “At first it’s really hard, but now we can hold that position for at least fifteen seconds. Every day we get better and better.”

Scrimmages help the team to get comfortable with their teamwork without the high stakes of a real game, but it can be really scary going in for the first time.

“The thing that was going through my head was ‘I’m going to give it all’” Tesfa said. “I tried my best and we won.”

Playing for high school adds pressure of representing the school and setting a good example.

“I was kinda nervous playing high school basketball for the first time,” Shepard said. “I was worried I would mess up but I reminded myself that it was a scrimmage and that it’s okay to make mistakes because you’re learning.”

Going from a scrimmage to a real game requires a game mindset.

“I’m focused and ready to play when coach puts me in,” Fleetwood said.

Everyone gets game-ready differently: some like getting hyped up, and some need to stay calm and breathe.

“The mindset I have when playing is ‘don’t overthink it,’ because when you overthink things, most people seem to fail,” Tesfa said. “I’m one of those people.”

Cheering on the bench can help the players on the court feel supported by their team.

“When I play basketball I want to be as helpful as I can be because basketball is a team sport,” Shepard said. “When I’m on the bench watching the game I’ll cheer my teammates on.”