After winning 90% of their games in season, scoring an average of 42 points per game, and bringing home the HAC championship trophy, the APAC Girls Basketball team travelled to Shanghai on January 21 for their final, culminating tournament. This year, Coach Cortney and Coach Jackson selected several snazzy seniors – Thanh Le (co-captain), Uyen Trinh (co-captain), Linh Vu, Gia Han Le, Eliza Tu Thi Stelmach -, a couple jazzy juniors – Sian Rusinow, Co May Nguyen, Jinny Shin, Sophie Shroeder -, and two spazzy sophomores – Frances Phan, Josephine Schmitz.
Apart from the occasional delicious brownie treats that Coach Cortney baked for us, we committed to providing our bodies with good food, our minds with good energy, and our muscles with physical torture. The 6 returning players made sure everyone knew the standards they needed to uphold and expectations they needed to meet not only for themselves but for the team. Eat well, sleep more, train hard, play together.
Knowing the level of basketball we would encounter at APAC, we worked hard all season to not be surprised or intimidated by the big post players, the fast break layups, the full-court press, and the questionable referee calls.
Our first game was greeted with some angst, some anticipation, but mostly the desire to win. Last year, we won against SFS by a slight 3-point lead to come in 5th overall. This year, we won again in overtime. Although we were unable to beat HKIS, the opponent of our next game, we stilled worked hard to take home a win against ISB and WAB in the following days.
Throughout the 3-day tournament, we competed together, showed sportsmanship, and never gave up. Like a sine curve, we had our ups, downs and inflexions points. The only constant is that Frances can always be found rolling, stretching, and massaging an injured body part.
I want to give a special thank you to both my coaches for giving their time and effort for teaching us not only how to play the beautiful game of basketball but more importantly how to be a team. To my sophomores who inspire the team with youthful energy and so much talent. To my juniors who continue to show me what grit, hustle, and hard work looks like. And lastly, to my seniors, who made the final 33 seconds on court the most fun ever.