At the start of the season, we came together as the most skilled group of players we have ever had on the U19A Girls Basketball team. By the end, we had a wonderful sense of determination to have the perfect effort from start to finish.
On an individual level, we focused on correcting the little things that ultimately made the biggest difference when we played together. It was the little things that mattered the most. Hustling back after a basket, simply tipping the ball in a teammate’s direction when going up for a rebound, or communicating on a screen. These '1 percenters' could ultimately result in either a loss or a victory. Another important lesson we learned this season was that our warm up matters. The mentality we warmed up with set the tone for the game. Only at SEASAC did we realise how big of a difference a good warm up made.
You may think a warm up is nothing, but to a “baller” a warm up is everything. There’s a magic that appears when you warm up. Everything lines up, the world is in sync, and for one perfect moment, you feel totally alive. SEASAC wasn’t only about playing the game, it was about bonding with teammates and having fun, it was about representing your school and not being afraid to mess up. Trying new plays and thinking outside the box made the team better.
Throughout the season, our team bonded so well across Grades 9 to 12 - we have all made friendships that will last a long time. Being able to pass a teammate in the hallway at school, and to just know all the shared memories we have had on and off the court, is a really nice feeling to share as a team.
Along with these shared positive memories, we have also faced some challenges as a team: from losing matches to having to push ourselves to the limit when we run down the court. Being in a team has taught me (Tahlia) how to overcome these challenges too.
Our season was not perfect, actually far from it. We did have our fair share of losses, but that just motivated us to push ourselves more in the next game. We had to keep our heads up despite the score every single time, knowing that it wasn't a true reflection of how we played or the progress we had made. We learned to celebrate these small moments in games regardless of the score. Knowing that there were other people on the court who had your back no matter what, created a space for us to try new things and to learn from mistakes as well.
Over the course of training sessions, we started to understand the skills that each individual brought to the team and how these put together could result in great plays and baskets. Our team became closer and learned to work together. It was with practice that we knew where the other players were on the court and where we needed to be during each point in the game. Each player was constantly working their hardest, contributing to the plays and adapting to the defence by filling the gaps on the court and leaving no space empty.
The games that we played also helped us improve greatly. We learnt a great deal from our opponents throughout the season, watching their plays and partnerships helped us identify how we could improve.
Each player in the team put in a lot of effort and hard work throughout the season, without which we would not be where we are now. By waking up twice a week for early morning practices we learned that nothing comes easy. We had to put in the effort to see the results.
SEASAC was a tournament where we became closer than ever as a team and it was a great opportunity for all of us. The tournament not only pushed all of us to play hard even in the third match of the day, but it also helped us learn from the losses we encountered and work on our mistakes in the next games. The tournament gave us the chance to apply all our knowledge gained from the intense training sessions and gave us such a motivational atmosphere in which we all wanted to perform well in. The outcome of the tournament was not what mattered, it was the improvement and dedication that came from the team throughout the season and in the times where we were the lowest. It was the perseverance of our team through losses and wins that enabled us to give it our all, and end the season on a win.
With all the pre-season and actual season trainings, all of us have become close and constructive as a team and this helped us significantly during the various tournaments and ACSIS matches we had. All in all, playing in a very diverse team - as we had players from different age groups and all different nationalities - was an unforgettable season, and next year should be as good, or even better.
The reason each and every season gets such positive and enthusiastic response from the players, simply comes down to the team's morale and spirit. Over the few seasons of girls basketball at East, we have slowly and steadily built a strong foundation of what a team of strong, passionate and dedicated girls team should look like. With new faces entering the teams every year the players learn how adapt through open minded attitudes. With our teams values instilled strongly into each player as they move through the season we make for a sustainable group of girls who share a passion and a joy for a sport.
This season was full of fun and hard work. We learnt how to play with each other and be resilient when faced with hard moments. Our team was relatively new but we managed to work together and form many amazing memories. I'm (Zoey) so happy with this season because we learnt how to improve our skills and work on our baller abilities!
Of course, this season would be incomplete without Coach Bush, Coach Ellen and the support from the players from past years, who provided the players with their own expertise, as well as small, individual improvements that each player could make to increase their impact on and off the court.
We hope to continue the spirit and the spark of hope that we ignited this season, and make our way up. To finish off, here is a quote from Veda, as she looks back on her personal growth this season, "If there’s one thing that SEASAC taught me, it was this: opportunities don’t just appear, you have to create them. Strive for progress not perfection."