Subbie girls’ basketball is already showing signs of improvement this season. Last week they defeated Saint Malachy by one point in an extremely close game. With their first win under their belt, the players were excited to share experiences and thoughts on their Uni basketball experience.
All players agreed that it was a rough start at first. According to SSO counselor Kristi Bandy, the head coach, only two students on the team (composed of eight players) had prior experience in basketball.
“At the beginning, most people did not know where to go or what to do. We had to go back to the basics and learn everything again,” says Lara Marinov, an athlete who previously played basketball at Next Generation School. “But now, we know where to go, what positions we have, and where we’re running.”
Marinov also notes that at the beginning of the year players weren’t familiar with each other. However, as the year has progressed, they have begun to know each other better, resulting in better team chemistry.
“I’ve seen amazing improvement just over the first few weeks,” says Dina Hashash, who also played with Marinov prior to Uni.
The team largely credits Bandy for their improvement.
“She’s a really nice person,” says Rithika Patnam.
Bandy has been making sure that the team understands free throws, three-pointers, and various other facets of basketball. Practice consists of practicing several in game situations, such as scrimmaging. On Friday “Fundays,” players compete in Knockout, Queen of the Court, and other basketball games. Although this is Bandy’s first year coaching, she has been effectively teaching the fundamentals of basketball.
Eight players is quite a small number for a basketball team. Players saw both pros and cons to having a small team. While having a small team could guarantee more playing time and cohesive team chemistry, at times the team suffers from a lack of substitutions.
Marinov admits that high-tension games can become extremely stressful due to this shortage.
“If we need more players because people fouled out or got injured or are not feeling well, it’s really hard and nerve-wracking because we don’t know if we have enough people.” It also may be harder for players to practice more complex in- game situations, which can affect how prepared they are for upcoming games.
Players can have four games a week, to one game a week, to no games at all. While the team could use more games to become more experienced, they are efficient in using the time between games to improve and hone their skills based on the previous game.
“It gives you time to work on stuff, which most of us need, “ says Serenity Lilly.
Bandy agreed that more players would be good for team practices.
“I would love to have more players. Even if everyone’s there it’s still a four-on-four situation. People do get tired,” she said.
All players interviewed agreed that the season has been successful so far, and were enthusiastic about playing high school basketball next year.
The team encourages future subbies to pick up a sport, regardless of experience or skill level. Not only is it a good way to make friends, but it can also serve as a segue into high-school sports.
“Don’t be scared,” advises Marinov. “It can turn really fun.”
With skilled athletes, awesome teamwork, and massive improvement, the subbie girls’ team is bound to secure more wins this season. The team encourages Gargoyle readers to come to the upcoming boys and girls away game versus Next Generation School on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.