Four years of buckets

Celebrating the seniors of girls’ varsity basketball

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Marika Alexander

The varsity girls’ basketball seniors line up for a final photo with their friends and families (from left to right): Preet Gill, Sophia Piepmeier, Jada Holmes, Maddison Hasegowa, and Kiona Prout

Marina Alexander, Staff Writer

The girls’ varsity basketball seniors played their last home game on February 6, losing to the Placer Hillmen.

“Just playing basketball for this program has given me a lot of confidence that I didn’t have before,” senior captain Preet Gill said. “Being team captain and taking leadership of a team that has the same passion for this sport has made me grow as a person. This sport has always been a part of me and who I’ve become today.”

With the introduction of new coach, Todd Jackson, the players had to adjust to a different style of play and leadership. The players faced many difficulties in the beginning of the season; however, facing those challenges brought new skills that they learned to embrace well. 

“They [the team] have made me stronger and more patient,” senior Jada Holmes said. “With us being all over the court and having a hard time staying focused, learning to work with people well, coming together, and just having patience is something that I didn’t have before.” 

Although it is the senior’s last season playing for Oakmont, this program has made their love for the sport stronger than ever. Preet Gill, Maddison Hasegowa, Jada Holmes, Sophia Piepmeier, and Kiona Prout make up the senior portion of the team, with a variety of underclassmen that the seniors were glad to integrate.

“I would tell them [underclassmen players] to just keep going,” Holmes said. “It’s going to be hard, going to be exhausting, you’re going to get tired, you’re going to get mad, but keep going if you really love this sport because it can take you really far. We all have each other’s backs and that is something you can’t get anywhere else.” 

From this program, the team improved their basketball skills, but more importantly they have made strong bonds and friendships that the seniors will carry with them off the court. This season has brought new learning opportunities not only for the players, but for Coach Jackson as well.

“My advice is to embrace every challenge in life,” Coach Jackson said. “Some challenges may be harder than others but never give up. When I check in on them [the seniors] 5-10 years from now, I see strong, successful, and independent women, who teach other young girls what they’ve learned. Be a leader not a follower.”

With that sentiment, the program wishes good luck to their graduating seniors on future endeavors.