By Jenny Hu, Brian Bodestyne and Darren Macario
Sports are an important part of the high school experience. The basketball program is particularly influential in the Summit Shasta school community. How do student basketball players contribute to the Shasta community?
According to Shasta freshman Allison Blair, sports help contribute to the Shasta community by helping bring different grade levels together. Blair explains that since “you can play on varsity as a freshman, it helps bring the community closer.”
As a prominent member of the girls basketball team, Blair inputs that “for the girls, they are actually developing it into a good program, which is great for Shasta because we’re not really known for our sports.”
Sam Zhang, a freshman player, states that the support that classmates bring to the games helps bring the community closer. “On average, [up to] 50 people come to our games at Shasta. […] Basketball is very important to this school because it helps build leadership, […] new connections, and show how teamwork is important in life.”
Shasta freshman Lucas Velasco, a varsity player, says that around 50 to 100 fans can show up to each basketball game. Velasco agrees that playing basketball has helped him become more close with friends.
Students have multiple chances to attend the weekly basketball games, with nearly 50 percent of students (out of 34 responses) in a recent sports survey sent out to Summit Shasta students saying that they attend the games at least once per month. In the same survey, around 75 percent of respondents stated that they are interested in or are already playing sports at this school.
Many players state that sports have helped them establish bonds with friends and teammates. These players also cite sports as a source of school spirit. But what is the staff opinion of the Shasta basketball program?
Adelaide Giornelli, Shasta dean of instruction and culture, affirms that the boys and girls basketball teams at Shasta have a diverse set of grade levels that participate in the popular sport. “I think it’s really fun, and [I] look forward towards going to the games. The coaches do a really good job of making sure that the student athletes take themselves seriously “as both of those things.”
Ms. Giornelli later commented that she thinks that “there’s more we can do to make sure that the fans are building community [such as] taking time out of your day to support someone you know.”
In the aforementioned sports survey, many people seemed to feel that Summit Shasta generally does not seem to focus on sports or support the athletes. They say the school has not provided sufficient support to teams.
An anonymous surveyee mentioned that they noticed that teams do not have buses, which makes being an athlete hard: “Last year, soccer was so difficult because transportation was poor.”
Although sports might not be the main focus of Summit Shasta, the basketball program is still a very important part of the school culture. The athletes can overcome obstacles and can still have a good time.
See below for a video featuring the Shasta basketball players: