The Malden High School girls basketball team is pushing through the last game of this winter season proving their impressive work ethic and determination. Led by senior captains Jaime MacDonald and Michaela Ilebode, the players are continuing to give it their all, focusing not only on the numbers on the final scoreboard, but on bettering themselves as teammates.

Having been victorious over Somerville and East Boston, the team is looking forward to ending the season on a positive note. To sum up the girls basketball team in two words, sophomore Caitlyn Leonard feels that her term deserves to be called “hard working.”

Senior captain Michaela Ilebode passes the ball to senior Samantha Drapinski. All photos by Piero Pocobene.
Senior captain Michaela Ilebode passes the ball to senior Samantha Drapinski.

Leonard states that he teammates always “pick each other up and push each other to get better”. The girls do not only share a love for the sport, but also have created a powerful bond. Rather than being friends, they are more like a family. Ilebode explains how being part of this team is not about how many times you win or you lose, “[it is] about the bonds you make that will last a lifetime”.

The team consists of one freshman, two sophomores, two juniors and five seniors. “Being underclassmen to the team,” states sophomore Medjina Occean “means that there are those who are willing to step up”. A lot of pressure comes with being a new face not only to the high school, but to the team. But talent is not defined by age, rather than by determination and the amount of effort you are willing to put to reach as high as you can.

Teamwork is a large factor in basketball, and without communication and a good relationship between teammates, the team would not be able to succeed.The players “have to work together,” says Leonard,”and it has to be complete team effort”. Chemistry between teammates allows for a great season. Occean expresses that “when you give up on yourself, it not only affects you but your teammates also”.

Senior Captain Jaime MacDonald lays the ball up against East Boston.
Senior Captain Jaime MacDonald lays the ball up against East Boston.

Off the court, the team shares a great bond. On the court, the team wishes to, “talk more on defense and offense, because communication is key in basketball,” as stated by Leonard. It is a team sport, rather than individual effort. Occean says that, “it takes each and every single individual,” to succeed, considering the fact that it takes “effort and trust to make a team”.

Practicing hard will allow for a successful season, and the team has given their best to achieve all their goals, and learn new skills that can be applied not only to the sport, but to life. The team brings their best to every game and practice, and it always reflects on how everything turns out.

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