Middle school basketball team ‘supportive’ community, captains say

Captain+Annabelle+Terner+%2723+tries+to+keep+the+ball+at+a+game+against+Windward+School+on+December+18.+Unlike+past+years%2C+this+season%27s+team+combines+players+from+all+middle+school+grades.+
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Middle school basketball team ‘supportive’ community, captains say

Captain Annabelle Terner '23 tries to keep the ball at a game against Windward School on December 18. Unlike past years, this season's team combines players from all middle school grades.

Captain Annabelle Terner '23 tries to keep the ball at a game against Windward School on December 18. Unlike past years, this season's team combines players from all middle school grades.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Marlee Rice

Captain Annabelle Terner '23 tries to keep the ball at a game against Windward School on December 18. Unlike past years, this season's team combines players from all middle school grades.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Marlee Rice

Photo credit: Courtesy of Marlee Rice

Captain Annabelle Terner '23 tries to keep the ball at a game against Windward School on December 18. Unlike past years, this season's team combines players from all middle school grades.

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Running plays down the court, middle school basketball players pass, dribble and cheer their classmates on. The team’s season began with tryouts in December, and they played their first game on Dec. 13. The two captains of the team are eighth graders Daniella Fenster and Annabelle Terner.

Unlike past years, where each grade was split up into a team, the middle school basketball team is made up of players from every middle school grade. The team has a lot of players new to basketball, so Fenster said her goal for the season is to get the team to work on being a cohesive group and being able to run plays. Before every game, the captains support their teammates by asking the team what their goals for the game are. 

“[My goal is] just to try to get the girls to enjoy it,” Terner said, “and…have the urge to win but not be so hard on yourself.”

Fenster and Terner said they were both drawn to the sport from a young age.

“I have had a basketball net in my backyard,” Fenster said. “I [would] just be shooting around, and then one day I started to play at the park, and I really, really liked being on a team. I’ve just been playing since then.”

Terner said she enjoys being on the team because she is able to meet girls from other grades.

“I like the community. We’re like this small little family,” Terner said. “I know the sixth graders on the team and the seventh graders  — I think that’s a really good thing.”

The captains expressed gratitude for the team’s positivity and encouragement.

“[A strength of the team] is just supporting each other, [which] just doesn’t have much to do with dynamic or the actual athleticism of basketball, but just the way that we support each other,” Terner said. “If someone misses a shot or if someone messes up we’re still ‘Okay get back on defense, you still have to keep going, it’s not the end of the world,’ and I think that that’s really important.”

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