High school sports provide a community and outlet for students: Basketball

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Junior Emily Mitchell shoots a corner three.

By Ben Ramirez

Created in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, basketball was a game in which a ball would be shot into an actual basket, which would then have to be retrieved. It is safe to say that since its inception, the game has taken off with an estimated 26 million players nationwide as of 2012 according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.

For many of those individuals, the game has had a profound effect on their lives. Sports have been doing this for their longevity. Basketball creates a sense of community and allows for passion to be exerted on the court every day. Even coming down to the high school level, student-athletes have seen their hectic lives circulate around the game they all love.

At school, there are six total teams including Frosh/Soph, Junior Varsity, and Varsity, for both girls and boys. These teams, each unique in their skills, backgrounds, and characters, blaze their own path throughout the season, ultimately shaping the players in different ways.

When it comes to the players, basketball is the very foundation of their lives. It allows the players to have a greater goal outside of obtaining good grades and popularity by providing a platform in which they can succeed solely based off of hard work, determination, and just a little bit of luck.

“I would thank basketball for allowing me to become who I am today. It has given me strength to overcome adversity and continue fighting for what I believe in,” junior Emily Mitchell said.

Playing a team sport such as basketball also creates tight knit communities that defy school affiliations, years, and backgrounds. On the court, nothing else is more important than working toward the common goal of achieving greatness.

“Basketball allows for me to be a part of something greater than just one individual. It takes five people to play, and that in and of itself creates a sense of partnership between teammates,” junior Noah Kutrosky said.

In addition to the players, the coaching staff have been positively impacted by basketball. Girls varsity coach Jared Honig spends his day teaching math at Westmark School in Encino but expresses that coming to Granada Hills Charter High School after school to coach is the best part of his day.

Coaching at his alma mater, Honig strives to pass on his knowledge and passion for basketball every player, and that guidance has propelled the team to a fantastic season, finishing well over five hundred.

“Coaching was something I was interested in and the high school level seemed like a great place to coach, especially at Granada,” Honig said.

It may be just a game in which teams try to shoot more baskets than the other, but for those directly involved with the sport, basketball is more than just a game. Through it, they have been able to connect with teammates and build a community that goes beyond just high school sports.

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