Arpa Bakarian joins GHC’s Boys Basketball team

By Acaila Eastman, Jane Hanna, and Mateo Menjivar

The lights buzz and shoes squeak against the sweat-ridden wooden floors. A whistle sounds as the cheering crowd of people eagerly watch the game while the players on court rush to their coach to learn strategies for their next play. The score is 50-48 with two minutes left on the clock. Tension is high for the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) varsity basketball team.

Despite the obvious nerves weaving through the crowd and the players, there is still hope lingering within the tense atmosphere that GHC can take home the win. Senior Arpa Bakarian, a new player on the GHC team, supports his teammates on the court although his own nerves are starting to get the better of him.

The ref blows his whistle channeling that feeling of fear right back into both teams. Bakarian wipes the sweat from his brow and exhales. His teammate pats him on the back and assures him once more. And that was all he needed to get his head back into the groove and score the next point.

Bakarian recently transferred from Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences (VAAS) and started attending GHC last spring. Ever since he was five years old, Bakarian has had a passion for basketball. Bakarian’s mother also has a strong love for the sport and has been playing basketball for her whole life as well. So it was a fitting move that Bakarian began playing at a young age as well.

Not only was his mother a big inspiration and influence on his passion for the sport, but Bakarian is also a huge fan of the Los Angeles Clippers. Bakarian loves that the games are so entertaining and the players always put on a show.

Bakarian plays as both a small forward on the court. His favorite plays are pick-and-rolls and backdoor cuts. A pick-and-roll is when a teammate puts his or her body in front of the defender who is guarding the person with the basketball. Backdoor cuts are when a player will cut toward the basket behind his defender’s back, making an easy inside pass.

Even though he was still new to the school when he first joined the team, he was able to connect with his peers very well, even though many of them had been playing together for years. Bakarian was a little intimidated by how skilled his teammates were, and was afraid that he may not fit in the team. However, once he became acquainted with his team during practices he was able to establish new friendships.

“Arpa is one of the most helpful guys I have ever met in my life. He is always helpful during practice and is so inspirational,” senior Uzoma Meremiku said.

Bakarian adapted fast to the change in schools and took it upon himself to be helpful for his teammates.

Bakarian had heard about the GHC boys basketball team during last spring semester and wanted to join, but was unable to since he had transferred so late in the year. Luckily, he was able to try out for this fall semester and easily made the cut.

“He’s good, definitely one of our better players. He just joined the team, but he will definitely help us a lot,” senior Joseph Greene said.

Although the boys basketball team has not had any games yet, the team has been practicing almost every day during the wee..

Before transferring to GHC, Bakarian played on the VAAS boys basketball team. He was also very friendly with his teammates back at his old school and is still appreciated by many. Some of his previous teammates claim that on the court, Bakarian is good at working with others but will take the opportunity to get points if he gets one.

“Although Arpa is a great passer and loves setting his teammates up for easy baskets, if he wants to score, he’ll score no matter the circumstance,” former teammate and VAAS senior Jonathan Beshara said.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper