Take it to the net. In the last minutes of the game, junior Jamyla Gilmore scores a layup.“I was in a concentrated mindset because I was scoring against one of the top ranked girls in the state,” Gilmore said.
Take it to the net. In the last minutes of the game, junior Jamyla Gilmore scores a layup.“I was in a concentrated mindset because I was scoring against one of the top ranked girls in the state,” Gilmore said.
Lucy Cook

Bellevue East girls basketball gains new, younger members

Sweat dripping, bodies weak, fans screaming, all waiting for that last shot to claim the victory and take the title; champions. As the ball drops into the net, all the anticipation disappears. Triumph floods the scene and now Bellevue East Girls’ Basketball can call themselves winners. This is the goal for this year’s girls basketball team at state, but to strive for success it’s going to take some work.

After last year’s high bracket team, containing mainly seniors, working with a younger group, this year, could come with some challenges for the team. While younger players may have the same drive and passion for the court, their skills and experience levels may be lower due to their age. This only means that they will have to work harder at practice and play smarter during their games. Younger players will have to adapt to those who have been training longer and prove their spot on the team. Bellevue East Girls’ varsity basketball team trains 7 days a week for 3 hours straight. At that time, players were expected to work hard and give 100 % of their effort.

“We have a lot of new faces this season, so it’s going to be different, a different challenge,” assistant coach Eric Lenear said. “I am looking forward to continuing to see a lot of our players grow because we’ve had these players for quite a bit and now we’ve just kind of taken that next step of be- ing a leader on and off the court.”

No matter the age difference between the players, each individual makes up one team. Team work doesn’t come from solitude. It takes working together and having trust in each other to succeed. Varsity captain, junior Jamyla Gilmore, believes in a team that works hard together and plays hard together.

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“It’s vital if you want to play in unison because if you have a single plate mentality it does not get the job done,” Gilmore said. “It takes all five people on the court to complete a play and you do not have all five people on the same page on the court if they are not on the same page off the court as well.”

Many teammates and coaches at Bellevue East think that having younger players is an advantage for the team. Effort is only part of a team. Creating that special bond between the players will help the team grow and improve to be its finest.

“It’s actually like a benefit because their bodies can function better than older people,” Freshman T’Niyah Wilson said. “We’ve been playing with each other for a long time so we know how to help each other play and their play style.”

Gilmore, a junior varsity veteran, has experience with playing on past teams. She believes that this year’s team will surpass last year’s and that they have a lot of potential.

“It’s an advantage because you can create more chemistry-building years without seniors graduating that were vital to the team,” Gilmore said. “I think if anything it’s better. There’s not as much depth but the people we do have are more skilled. Considering the people who left I don’t think it was as detrimental as considering the people who regained.”

The coaches work hard with the players and give each the best opportunities for their future. This includes practicing everyday a week for three hours and throughout the summer to better prepare the team for victory.

“Our coach, she helped a lot, because I’ve been playing with her since the fourth grade, so it’s like she helped me develop to be the person I am now,” Wilson said.

The connections that the team makes show on the court. Working through hardships and learn- ing to lead is really what a team is about. The potential of this year’s team is expected to be high, so it is only a matter of time to find out how good they really are.

“I’m really looking forward to the season,” Lenear said. “The girls have a great attitude and mindset. We’re going to be very young. It’s going to present some new challenges that we have not dealt with in a couple of years so I’m very excited and looking forward to it.”

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