A group of young ladies at Our Lady of Victory, Arubtus, have played together since the third grade for the traveling basketball team. The team is coached by two mothers.
Head Coach Karen A. Johnson and Assistant Coach Janet Kuhn both got involved with the program when their young daughters, Kayla and April, registered with the Our Lady of Victory program. “We didn’t know what we were getting into or what to expect,” said Mrs. Johnson.
They may not have known what they were getting into but with a record of 131-13, championship trophies and high school coaches sitting in the stands to watch their players, they have an excellent handle on team management and skill development.
The seven players who have been with the team from third grade through eighth grade are forward/center Maria Allen, guards Madison Grant and April Kuhn, forwards Samantha Mills, Lauren Smith and Tiersa Winder, and point guard Kayla Johnson.
Two years later, two more players joined the team – Bryanna Emory and Gabrielle Silgalis, who were part of 117 of the team’s 131 wins.
Now eighth-graders and ready to move into the next level of play in high school, these players are stronger and more confident in their successes; more than anything, they had a wonderful experience of what “team” is all about.
“We play as a team. That’s it. We just play as a team,” said Johnson. “This was a good group of girls. They helped each other out whenever they could, and they were just a great group to work with.”
The 12-14 OLV squad went undefeated this season, playing in two different CYO leagues. They captured the league championship and CYO title as well as two post-season tournament titles – one at Our Lady of Victory and the other through the St. Mark’s tournament.