A silent bus drive. The anticipation of how the game would turn out had the team contemplating and thinking, beginning to accept the possibility of victory.
It’s now. The game, only minutes from starting. The feeling of the tightly knotted shoelaces, the feeling of grip with every step they took, the feeling of the basketball, with every dribble: all were enhanced.
The stage was set. The audience waited with anticipation for the game to start, hoping that they’ll be walking out tonight with something greater than a championship title.
These 15 varsity players were already making history. The MAHS girls basketball team had never gone to a championship game in their 14 years since opening.
The team maintained a 13 win, 12 loss record through the season and although they fell short from winning the league championship title, they began to exceed expectations by advancing through the playoffs.
Then playing the final against The Math and Science College Preparatory at Palisades High School, and ultimately beating them with a score of 52-28, winning CIFLACS Girls Basketball Championship Division V.
With a year-round commitment to the sport, the Maywood girls basketball coach Alfredo Nava, puts his players under body-aching practices and intense workouts. Coach Nava considers these strategies to be beneficial for their games.
He aims at developing more than just basketball skills, he strives at developing life skills and positive character traits that these girls can take with them years down the line.
“It’s a game that teaches skills, development, and mental strength,” the coach said, “not just for the games but also teaches you how to persevere and never give up with anything in life.”
This team is living proof that practice makes better.
“When I first joined I wasn’t very good at offense, but after all the scrimmages and Saturday tournaments, I got better, WE all got better. We put in hours every day to practice, we gave up our weekends and vacation time to train,” states Tabitha Lopez who was awarded the Most Improved Player Award for the 2018-2019 end-of-the season banquet.
Not every girl is for herself.
When asked about his coaching style, Coach Nava says, “Teamwork. We don’t have individuals. We’re a team.” Spending countless hours together, these girls begin to coach each other and motivate one another, no one is left behind.
Since last year, the girls have also completed another successful season and are currently preparing for their second round of playoffs, having won against Maya Angelo on February 13th, with a score of 52-21.