Hoopin’ All Day

Sanwi Sarode, Sports Editor

This year is the first year that LASA has had its own sports teams due to LASA and LBJ’s UIL split. One such team was the girls basketball team, which started practicing last semester in preparation for the spring season.

Holly Adams, a freshman on the team, said that at the start of the season, she was most looking forward to meeting new people. She was also looking forward to playing basketball again as it had been a while since she had last played.

“Coming into basketball, I was just looking forward to being able to play again because it had been a year since I played,” Adams said. “Also, sports are a way to meet new people, and I was really looking forward to that.”

In addition to meeting new people and getting the chance to play again, basketball has also given players the opportunity to stay fit. Jessie Connolly, a junior and member of the girls basketball team, said that playing basketball this season has been a way for her to keep active.

“Having that outlet to just go and be able to be active every day instead of having to stay at home staring at a computer is really nice, and it’s really fun playing with these people,” Connolly said.

Although the basketball season was able to proceed, Adams said that the pandemic made scheduling difficult when trying to maintain social distance from other teams that are using the gym. Although LASA and LBJ have separate athletics, they still have to share facilities like the gyms.

“It’s kinda difficult with other people using the gym,” Adams said, “because we can’t really cross over that much with different teams, so we’re on a stricter schedule.”

Adryanna Sanchez, a junior on the basketball team, said that playing basketball during the pandemic can make practices more difficult. Sanchez said that the masks make it hard to tell each other apart on the court, and the players are unable to see each other outside of practice to build up their bond.

“Everything’s a little difficult because sometimes it’s easy to get confused with the masks and with not being able to see each other throughout the day to just check up with everyone,” Sanchez said. “So there’s some things that could be fixed, but we’re still good so far.”

Sanchez says that the players have gotten to know each other well thanks to their months of daily practices. She says that the team is now very comfortable with each other and have become great friends.

“It’s kinda like a second family,” Sanchez said. “It’s a whole group of other people that you’re close to and you just joke around with, but you’re also serious when you’re in a game and learning throughout practice.”

According to Adams, the basketball team is also much smaller this year, which makes it possible to socialize while still staying safe. Adams likes having a smaller team because it is easier to get to know everyone.

“The team is a lot smaller because a lot less people are playing girls basketball,” Adams said. “Because it’s so much smaller, we kind of have to be friends to be able to work with each other and figure everything out. It’s kinda nice, to be honest. You get to know people better.”

Basketball is a team sport, and Connolly believes that one of the most important things about being on a team is to trust each other. She likes that she can count on her teammates for support in and out of practice.

“To me, being in the team means trusting each other on the court and knowing that everyone on the court has your back,” Connolly said. “You can worry about yourself and what you’re doing because you know everyone else on the court is with you.”

According to Sanchez, there are many key aspects to focus on when playing basketball. She said along with trust and communication, basketball also requires a lot of focus. 

“Being focused would be the most important because then you’re able to be the best in whatever skill you have,” Sanchez said. “Whether it’s dribbling, keeping your head up or being on defense and trying to keep your arms up and making sure not to foul anybody, you’re focusing and not letting anyone get into your head.” 

Connolly said that dedication to the team is also very important to maintaining the team’s winning record. She can tell that everyone on the team is willing to work hard and put in 100% at practices and at games.

“We’ve come a long way, and I can see us progressing a lot more in the future,” Connolly said. “I can see that everyone on this team is really dedicated and willing to work, and everyone is putting in time in practice and off practice, and it’s really paying off. I think that’s what’s going to help us out at the end, and that’s what’s going to help us progress as a team.”

As the season nears its end and the playoffs grow closer, Connolly is excited to see how the rest of the season goes. Connolly believes that the team has had an impressive season and hopes that the team’s final record reflects that.

“I’m just excited to see how everyone else progresses because everyone on the team has a lot of potential,” Connolly said. “We’ve progressed a ton so far, and I do think we can end this season with a winning record.”