Running with the Lady Bulls

By Eliana Friedman

Girls varsity basketball team.Lucas Paulino
This year's girls basketball team started with a record of 1 win out of 3 games, and when it came to the amount of playtime each player got, every player was given a chance to demonstrate their skills on the court.
Samirah Horton, who plays forward and center for the team, explained how Leman’s varsity basketball team organizes their plays: “the people who play point guard or small forward - those are more popular positions… We don't have a lot of players on the team. There’s like eight of us to keep things very concise so everybody touches the court at least once, while you also might not play a lot.”
Samirah emphasizes the point that while Leman values play time for all players, people are kept to a minimum to preserve our schools full potential.
Leman’s game strategies have changed slightly this year compared to last year's. Sama Sunna, who has a lot of experience on the girls basketball team, explains the type of defense that’s being put into play this year. “Our team last year, last season, we started off with man defense. This year we’re switching it up a little bit. We’re switching into zone defense and we’re trying to see if it’s going to switch up the results in the games we have… it did already and so hopefully that keeps being the case going forward.”
Considering the girls’ coach, Coach Tay, describes the team’s defense as an “amazing defense.” Suma is not wrong when she says the positive switch makes a difference.
Social Media plays a big part in many people’s lives, and a Léman girls varsity basketball Instagram account was an amazing way to display information and highlights for and about the team.
Stevie Futterman is a player from the girls varsity team and she shares a unique story in how the Instagram account began. “The instagram account came to be when I was coming back from my rib injury. I tore a ligament in my rib cage. It was my second game back, but when I was out I was just taking videos and pictures of the team practicing and now we have an instagram account which documents the updates, the injuries… you can give a follow to Instagram.”
Pre game ritual: Of course every sports team has a pregame ritual so why would Leman’s girls varsity basketball be any different? Stevie Futterman shares, “No more than a 30 minute power nap, perhaps a peach red bull, and you know, that’s it!” The girls don’t need much to get into the basketball spirit, but a nap sure gets them ready for their upcoming games.
Izzy Franzone entered this year's winter basketball season late, following a nine month recovery from her 2021 Fall sports season.  “Previous season - in 10th grade - I played soccer, which is the season before basketball. I was in a game and I tore my ACL without knowing. A month later, I got an MRI and I found out that I needed surgery. I got surgery and found out the recovery was nine months, so that delayed it to my 11th grade basketball season. It delayed it about a month, but it’s ok! Bounce back was good. My team made it a lot easier for me, I felt supported, and physical therapy definitely helped so the bounce back was good.”
Izzy feels better than ever, and she has a smile on her face as she appreciates being back in action this season.
Leman has two amazing coaches named Coach Tay and Coach Sam who value each and every one of their players. Meaningful statements play a big part in helping the girls have an open minded approach to the basketball game itself. Coach Tay shares a quote that has a huge impact on her coaching:
--“Be the spark to your own light; basically means you’re the fire to your own passion, so whatever you do, you have to be your own motivator, you have to go after it, you have to go after your own goals… Self motivation is self acceptance. You accept your journey, and you keep pushing through no matter what… sometimes you go through… a goal and you want to give up, you get tired, you don’t know what's next. But you have to be the spark to your own flame, you gotta keep pushing through, so that’s what that means.”--Coach Tay
This personal reflection on the phrase “Be the spark to your own light”, expresses how much this belief can do to you, both on the court, and in your regular life. Having a mental or physical goal for yourself is healthy in the sense that you are competing against yourself and seeing how much you achieve based on your passion and drive.
The Leman Girls Varsity Basketball team started their season off strong and their teamwork and passion for basketball will lead them through an amazing 2022-2023 winter basketball season.
Go bulls!
Photo Credits to Lucas Paulino