Q&A with middle school basketball captains: Kate Beckerman, Eden Oje

Captain Eden Oje ('25) dribbles the basketball toward the hoop during the match against Westside Neighborhood School on December 16, 2019. Archer lost the match with a score of 14-21.

Photo credit: Kim Smith

Captain Eden Oje ('25) dribbles the basketball toward the hoop during the match against Westside Neighborhood School on December 16, 2019. Archer lost the match with a score of 14-21.

It is 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of November. The middle school basketball team has just started stretching and taking practice shots. This is one of the team’s first practices to prepare for the nine games they have this season. The team is comprised of three sixth graders, seven seventh graders and two eighth graders. To discuss the season so far, the Oracle sat down with the team captains, seventh graders Kate Beckerman and Eden Oje, after their third game when the team’s record was 0-3. As of Jan. 27, the team is on a two-game winning streak, according to Athletic Director Kim Smith.

How is being a team captain? What are your responsibilities?

Kate Beckerman [KB]: We have to keep the team together and keep them from not feeling too overwhelmed and feeling like they can’t do something. We’re just supposed to keep them calm and we’re supposed to be the ones who [are] administrating the teamwork and the sportsmanship between us and the team that we’re playing. It’s a responsibility, but it’s also something that you don’t really think about a lot because [basketball is] a team sport. You just think [that] you’re all captains together and we all take advice from each other.

What is your favorite part about being on the basketball team this year?

Eden Oje [EO]: My favorite part of being on the basketball team is having such a great bond with everyone on the team and knowing that after school, I have a group I can go to.

Going into the second half of the season, what can the team improve on?

[KB]: [While] we are very good at working together, we need to be better at being disciplined. We goof around a lot, but we sometimes do it too much, so we need to be a little bit more focused [by] working harder and [in] practice. We’re [already] getting better, we’re getting really good, so I think that we have a good chance.

[EO]: We really need to work on communication. We communicate okay, but not [good] enough to win a game. If someone has the ball and they’re trapped, they can’t move, then no one really is saying, “Okay, I’ll go get them. You go over here to cover my spot.”

What is one fact about the team that is worth noting?

[KB]: Of course we’re going to be upset after [the games] and disappointed, but we really don’t let that block us from anything else. We just put it behind us. And … [the team is] very close. We say hi in the hallways, we talk a lot and we just have a good time when we’re not afraid to be ourselves around each other.

[EO]: During the game, we don’t cheer each other on as much as we should. When someone scores a basket, we are cheering … but I feel like we could all cheer more so that we just know these people [are] in our corner.