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Friendship Leads the Game Plan

By JASMYN GONZALEZ

The JV basketball team at Redlands East Valley of the 2016-2017 basketball season has had a successful summer pre-season. Many of the athletes who participated in each game over the course of the summer have shown outstanding communication and teamwork, leading to their success in the Palm springs tournament and their undefeated title.

The question is how this group has the ability to come together and win each game without having trouble communicating on the court. When Coach Jim Simpson was asked about of the percentage of players who have been playing together since freshman year, he stated: “…We had a summer roster, where…[there were] twelve kids that were on the summer team and eight of those came off the freshmen team.” Therefore, it can be concluded that the easily understood communication between these players is so concentrated because they have had so much time to practice comprehending each other.

As it has also been discovered, the secret to this very successful team is their strong friendship obtained both on and off the court. When Simpson was questioned if his players have a strong friendship, he stated: “They do; one of the strengths here at REV is that and that’s because of what coach Berich and coach Aranda do in the sixth period basketball program… so, these kids that played together last year as freshmen are very well-acquainted…” As it can be seen, the friendship that each of these players have is essential to the success and the sportsmanship that they share. 

A few players on the JV team have been questioned on their experience with the REV basketball program. All three players who were questioned have all come from the freshmen team and as Hani Elhanafy, a fifteen year old sophomore on the team, also stated, “ a little more than half the [freshmen] team” continued on to the JV team. This shows that over half of the JV team this year has had experience in understanding each other and anticipating their next move as a team on the court. As Samuel Gonzalez, a fifteen year old sophomore on the JV, also elaborated, “Chemistry’s a really big thing for basketball… the more you’re connected… and when you hang out with them, then you get to know how they play…[it’s] chemistry.” As Gonzalez stated, understanding one another on the team is a big factor in the team’s success. Frankie, a fifteen year old sophomore on the team also inputted that “…basketball is a way for [the team] to connect.”

Speaking of the team connecting, a majority of the team have a strong friendship, as the players stated that “…[they] hang out and spend a lot of time together, you know, mess around, [they’re] like a family.” This not only proves the great effect that the players’ friendship has in cooperating with each other but also shows that their interactions go far beyond passing a ball to each other. There are so many factors in a team having the ability to function efficiently. The basketball players were also questioned about what measures they would go to in order for their team to succeed. Hani stated: “I would do as much as I could to ensure that my team is successful.” Frankie stated: “I would put in all my effort.” Finally, Samuel stated, “ I would probably break my arm…I would go to extreme measures.” As is obvious, these players feel that their team’s success is very doable and it just takes their best effort, even if it means sacrificing their own spotlight for the good of the team. 

As the JV team begins to start their new season of challenges and pushing situations, they know that they have each other to rely on. They know that they must do their best to also have their own buddies’ backs and look out for one another. This season is sure to be a strong and successful season as the players are well acquainted and know each other inside and out. So, REV’s JV wildcat players are beginning to lay out their game plan of sticking together and having friendship on their side.

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