Girls varsity basketball shoots into action

Martin Garcia

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If you asked people about the basketball team at school, some might ask back ‘we have one?’. But for the Lady Patriots of Birmingham Community Charter High School’s (BCCHS) girls varsity basketball team though, that’s fine.  

“The girls from Birmingham are so welcoming and accepting for us,” said Janna Holley, a freshman who immediately got put into varsity after her tryouts.

Holley’s father is a basketball coach, which is how she got introduced to the sport at the young age of 3. She already played, usually with boys, but she wanted to experience playing for a high school basketball team.

“She’s really good,” said DPMHS junior Keona Paniagua. “Janna’s an amazing player and she’s overall really impressive because she’s really aggressive and able to score a lot”

Paniagua moved up from JV basketball to varsity this year. Last year she was a shooting guard responsible for scoring points, but now on varsity, she’s a power forward. Usually, she’s responsible for inbound passes and setting up important post-plays underneath the basket.                                                        

“As of right now, I’m sitting on the bench on a regular basis,” Paniagua said. “I’m kind of just the backup player I guess.”

As of Nov. 28, the team has played seven total games, having three losses and four total wins after their home tournament game in the BCCHS gym against Mira Costa High School.

“We need to raise money for ourselves because the basketball game’s expensive,” Paniagua said. “Shooting shirts and the shoes that we get and then the warm-up jerseys or whatever, those are really expensive so we need to raise money so that we don’t have to pay for everything.”

In the upper stands of the blue bleachers, you may see some parents mixed in with some of the students, some recording and some laid back.

“I think a lot of parents come and they just want to support their girls and have a good time,” said Jamaal Washington, whose daughter is #20, Jazmyn Washington. “(It’s) Something that she wanted so I support her.”

After their game, a 52-48 win, the team went over to talk to their coach, Victor Koopongsakorn.

“I like that we’re friends off the court, it makes it easier,” Jazmyn Washington said.

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