Varsity basketball team begins season with change in leadership, overcomes previous obstacles


Photo credit: Phoebe Ramirez

The varsity basketball team poses together after winning a game against Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles. The game took place on Dec. 14, and the score was 35-31.

By Allie Yang, Columnist

This season, the varsity basketball team has played 14 games, winning five and losing nine. Senior Treasure Brown, a co-captain of the team, has seen the team evolve over the course of her high school career. She said this year’s record has significantly improved from the previous year.

“Compared to last season, we’re doing really, really well,” Brown said. “We’re very optimistic … The new coaching staff really have made the season better.”

Depending on how far the team advances in the CIF playoffs, the season could continue until Feb. 25, the date of this year’s CIF finals. Their most recent game was against Pacifica Christian High School, which they lost 38-47. According to Alina Williams (’25), the team has a growth mindset when dealing with losses.

“We’re pretty good at accepting [them],” Williams said. “When we lose, we focus on what we need to keep working on. We apply that, and the next game [is] usually a lot better. So we keep growing every single time we lose.”

This season, the team welcomed new coaches. The team’s new head coach is Lena Ethington and the assistant coach is Denise White. Brown said their coaches have positively contributed to her experience on the team by providing guidance and autonomy.

“They’re willing to teach us,” Brown said. “If I make a mistake, they let me know how to fix that mistake, and they support whatever you choose to do … They let us have input on what we do which makes playing the game more enjoyable.”

Like in all sports, the team has dealt with challenges on and off the court. Brown said she felt supported through an injury.

“I injured my finger in the beginning of the season,” Brown said. “I wasn’t able to play for four weeks because I don’t want to risk my scholarship with my college I committed to … With my injury, the team was very supportive [of] me having to not play.”

Every week, the team practices three to four times and plays at least one game. Practices take place at Park Century School and typically include stretching, ball handling, shooting, running plays and a scrimmage. By consistently honing drills during practice, Cezi Silverton (’25) hopes to become proficient at basketball’s foundational skills and strengthen her outlook on the sport.

“My goal for the end of the season is basic ball handling and layups — just the baseline,” Silverton said. “Also, confidence on the court and in athletic endeavors … Often, I shy away from things I know I’m bad at, and I don’t build those skills. I, instead, pursue things I feel more interested in, but that I don’t get as much out of.”

Like Silverton, Elle Vandeweghe (’26) is new to basketball. She hopes as she continues playing in her first season, the team’s strengthened bond proves beneficial in games.

“We’ve all gotten to know each other really well,” Vandeweghe said. “We have a lot more trust in each other. Hopefully, that will show up later in the season. Hopefully, we’ll get more wins.”

For her last season, Brown’s personal goals for the varsity basketball team focus on the happiness she can get from the sport as opposed to acquiring specific skills.

“I’m really looking forward to enjoying the last couple of games, enjoying basketball itself, encouraging my teammates and seeing if I can do a little bit more scoring on the court,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to enjoying it because that’s all I can do.”