You would think coming off a win from the night before, Coach Purtell and his basketball team would have an easy practice the next day. However, when you walk into the gym at Reynoldsburg High School there is an energy and buzz that fills the room. The 18 women who are on the varsity basketball team include three freshmen this year, and five seniors. Coach Purtell gave the team some feedback after reviewing the tape from the game the night before, before sending them to practice drills.
"We have a tough schedule this year, the toughest in the State," said Coach Purtell. "But we have some of the best players, and I saw a lot of great things on the tape last night, especially defensively."
"We're at our best when we are putting the pressure on the opposing team," he continued. "We have some things to work on, but part of being a good player is making plays, not running plays, and I saw a lot of that last night."
The next game for the Lady Raiders is against Gahanna, and Coach Purtell emphasized handling the pressure and being calm will be key tactics for the team to utilize. "Communicate with each other and help each other." he said.
Speaking of help, the seniors of the basketball team have taken the underclassmen under their wings, and they told us how important basketball and camaraderie has been for them over the past four years.
Uju, a senior at Encore has a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Denver when she graduates. A small forward on the team, she plans to study Biological Science in college. Her words of advice for the players that will fill her (bright pink) shoes: "Play, don't think. Play as a team and cherish the time because it goes really fast."
That sentiment is echoed by Destiny, a BELL senior and Bre, a senior at HS2 STEM Academy. Both girls are looking at colleges, Bre already has a full ride to Indiana Tech where she will study engineering design. "When I am not studying or playing basketball, I am hanging out with my friends- the basketball team!" said Destiny.
Bre loves the game, and her advice to the freshmen on the team, or anyone who plays basketball was simple.
"Work hard, don't take anything for granted and keep playing basketball as long as you are blessed to play this sport," she said.
When they're not on the court, the girls are still plenty busy. Uju works at Chipotle and loves to listen to K-Pop, Bre likes to draw and Destiny wants to be a dermatologist, so her studies are a top priority.
You can find the girl's basketball schedule here,
come out and support the team at an upcoming game!