Look Out Here She Comes

By Abby White

This is Jamie dribbling the ball down the court during the game against Alliance

This 2022-2023 basketball season was interesting because of how much talent we had on the team and where the coaches decided to play people. At the beginning of the season, people were getting put into positions that everyone knew weren’t right, including me. I played freshman year on varsity and started last year on varsity and I do not know how this year I was put on JV. Our head coach stepped away from coaching us and our new coach was clueless about what to do. You could tell he favored people and that was a big thing because if you weren’t on his good side you weren’t playing varsity. That happened to me and Jamie because we were there to play basketball. Since I was a freshman our old coach had always been the coach and this year we had to learn a new coaching style. It was different and I did not like it at first. The freshman was such a great group of girls to play with though so it made it worth still coming. I had a blast and the season turned out fantastic once he got more comfortable with his position in coaching but I don’t agree with the fact that people were overlooked and never got a chance to prove themselves. For instance, Jamie Kopac is such a fantastic player and I believe she needed some experience at the varsity level. She worked so hard every day no matter what we were doing and she was always giving it her all. If I’m being honest she probably worked harder than me most days. She is such a wonderful teammate and she is always cheering people on and we need that at the varsity level because it is challenging. By the end of the season, she was averaging ten points a game on JV, and for someone to do that as a freshman is impressive. Her basketball IQ is outstanding. Half of the passes she made I was wondering how she even saw that the player was open. I always asked her why she was so quiet and she just said she didn’t want to be a bother. I told her she isn’t a bother at all and that she needs to start voicing how she is feeling it will pay off in the long run and she slowly started believing it. I heard her more at practice and she was just a shining light. You could tell that she was comfortable being there now. During a game at the beginning of the season, our coach was impressed with how she was playing and always made comments about her playing style. I told Jamie that the coach was talking good about her and she might have a chance to shine on the varsity court. She was so happy and it made me feel good. When our coach looked at the stats sheet all you saw was her name leading everything. I would always hype her up to him and I think it worked for the last half of the season because he slowly started to give her chances to be on varsity. For the last game of the season, the coach took two freshmen to play varsity and she was one of them. I was so happy because talking to her telling her to voice her opinion and me hyping her up to the coach paid off. She is by far the best shooter on our team and it showed the last few seconds of our tournament game. She was more of a player that would go in when we were up by a lot but it was still time on the court. Now in this case I knew she could do it and I told our coach she needed to take the shot. We were down by two and needed a three to win and I asked the coach if she could shoot the ball to win the game. Our coach called a timeout and we set a play up just for her. She was supposed to run a c-cut right off of me and shoot a three. We executed the play perfectly and she ran a c-cut off of me and hit a three and we won the game. A c-cut is exactly what it sounds like. You run in the shape of a “c” around the player to get open. I was so proud of her that I couldn’t express the way I was feeling. She didn’t let the team down and made the shot and we got to advance into another game and I didn’t get yelled at by my teammates for choosing “the freshmen” to make the shot. Her confidence level after that shot skyrocketed. She thanked me after the game for talking to her, helping her gain confidence in herself again, and telling her to speak what is on her mind. I will see her in the hallway at school because we did end up losing. We had to play the number one seed and they completely whopped us so the season came to an end. If I’m being quite honest we didn’t even stand a chance but that is okay because it makes me feel good for how much I helped her out. After all, I play to impact people’s lives and not just to win. I know that I impacted her life and changed the way she sees life. Jamie is super quiet and doesn’t say much but now I’ll hear her in the halls laughing and talking up a storm some days and it brightens my day. She is finally showing her worth and living life to the fullest. That is what life is all about. You have to wake up every day to impact someone’s life positively.

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