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After a rough 2020-2021 season in the midst of COVID-19 surges and a limited number of players, the Girls Basketball program is ready to kick it back into high gear. With increased student interest and more freedom in terms of the pandemic, captains Lindsay Browne and Naomi Straub are hopeful to not only expand the program but prepare the team for a successful season.
Traditionally, the Girls Basketball program splits players into a varsity team and a junior varsity team, yet during the 2020-2021 season, the team was so tiny the teams combined into one. Of the few players on the team last year, many were seniors—meaning when they graduated a large chunk of the team disappeared. Fortunately for the team though, recruitment efforts have taken their course and successfully introduced new Upper Schoolers to the team. Additionally, some players who opted out of playing in the 2020-2021 season have returned as they feel more comfortable with the state of COVID-19. Browne was clear, however, that the season wasn’t a total loss by any means. “The season was all about improving and finding small wins in each practice and game. While our record wasn’t the best, we were able to get some hard-fought wins and grew really close as a team,” she said.
This year, one of the team’s focal points will be maintaining the welcoming and uplifting team culture that is such an integral part of what the program stands for. The captains will work to ensure each player has a positive experience playing this season through team bonding, team meals, and attending basketball games together. Heading into the season with nearly double the number of players from the previous season and a whole new coaching team after the most recent leadership change in 2019, captains Browne and Straub believe upholding a teamwide connection greatly benefits the program as a whole.
After initial captain’s practices, Browne described a strength she noted was the “speed and team chemistry on and off the court.” She continued, “We have a lot of really fast girls on the team which will definitely help us in games.”
Straub added that as the girls get to know each other, the team will only become stronger. “We end up spending a lot of time together which is really fun because then by the end of the season we are all really close,” she said.
While the team falls on the shorter side with all players at or below roughly 5’8, they plan to utilize their other more technical skills in their favor to outweigh the height struggle.
Girls Basketball hosted tryouts this week (Nov. 15-17). Girls Varsity Basketball’s first game will occur against Breck School Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. on the Breck School campus.