The Grace Prep Girls Varsity Basketball team. This team was on the verge of collapse, until Senior Trinity Hansen rescued the team from destruction.

Senior revives girls’ varsity basketball team

Junior DeAnna Bolton hugs Senior Trinity Hansen during an interview Kensley Walters conducted with the team. “I knew how hard Trinity practiced all summer and looked for basketball camps for us to attend and I didn’t want her to have no team at all,” said Bolton. “I really wanted to try to have a team to play for Trinity.”

What most senior athletes have in common is the hope of having a final season to remember. For senior Trinity Hansen, this dream didn’t come easy.

Four  girls from our varsity  basketball team left either the school or the team after the first semester here. 

Even our coach left. 

Hansen thought to herself, “What do I do now? I have no coach. I barely have a team. What am I supposed to do?” 

Not one to stay down, Hansen knew it was going to take a lot more for her to throw in the towel. She began to recruit her friends and classmates to be a member of the team.

We were only going to have a 4 man team, and that’s not how you play basketball,” joked Junior Jaylah Suggs. 

Chiming in, Junior Kennedy Phillips said, “Yes, Trinity was ready and willing to play post, guard, and referee, but we couldn’t let her do that [team laughs].”

The team was down to five players Juniors DeAnna Bolton, Phillips, Suggs, Senior Charli Abendroth, and Hansen with no coach.

“It was really a scary moment, but we all just prayed about it, thought about it and it all just kind of came together, and I couldn’t be happier about this team,” said Hansen looking around at her 10 teammates and one manager as Suggs grabs her hand and smiles.

Team moment together thanking Hansen (back row right, head bowed) for bringing them together this season. “Raise your hand if Trinity invited you to play this season…Wow, 6 of you,” said Walters (left bottom row) in the interview.

All six of the newcomer teammates admit they are playing this year because Trinity asked them to. Two newcomers who were recruited by Trinity never even played before. 

“So Ashtyn and I were in government class and Trinity asked us to come to practice and just try it out. And I was like, Ashtyn if you go, I’ll go,” Senior Rachel Gerich said with a laugh, looking at Ashtyn. “So we asked what time practice was and Trinity said don’t worry, I’ll bring you basketball shoes, and I said great, because I don’t even know how to play! So it was really scary.”

“Yeah, and she brought us shoes!” laughs Ashtyn.

Senior Ashtyn Houston shooting at home court. This is her first year to ever play.

Some girls, Like Trinity, have remained loyal to the basketball team from the beginning. 

“I really wanted to do this for Trinity because I saw her going to all these basketball camps this summer and I didn’t want all her hard work to go to waste because there was no team at all,” said Bolton. 

The girls also displayed an enormous amount of gratitude towards the coach.

“We also really owe a lot of thanks to our coach, Carlee Howard, because that’s really hard for someone to come in and take on all these problems, but she really stuck with us and saw our potential, and we are all so grateful that she was willing to stick with us and coach us,” said Suggs.

Team gets ready to take the court. Team unity has never been stronger for our varsity girls’ basketball program, according to them.

Other girls believe that winning wasn’t the only goal during the season, but it was the experience that brought them together as a team. 

 “Our season didn’t just become about basketball. It was about us coming together as a team.” said Senior Ashtyn Houston. 

Sophomore Kate Toulouse agreed, saying “This experience really melded us together as a team. I really consider you all my sisters.”

“My favorite part of the season was just finishing our work, and then talking to each other about life,” said Senior Charli Abendroth.

Senior Trinity Hansen goes for the shot against Cristo Rey. Lady lions won this game by 20 points.

Senior Beth West, the team manager, said she appreciates how encouraging the team is to each other, including her with her when she made her 3-point-shot. 

As the team’s season concludes, the girls say they will always consider themselves close friends. All of them are extremely thankful that an unfortunate incident brought them together and created a blessing in disguise. 

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