Respect, selflessness, accountability and integrity. On and off the court, these are the values guiding Blue Basketball into their season over the next few months. The eight-member team has committed themselves to these values in order to meet the goals outlined by the team’s captains and coaches.
With two new recruits and seven returning players, one of whom is currently studying abroad, the team is admittedly small in size. However, having such a small team has also promoted strength between the teammates. Co-captain Kayla Jang ’18 stated that the season is off to a promising start, drawing upon the energy brought to the court by new recruits Lane Arkangel ’21 and Alyssa Cho ’21, as well as the expertise of returning players. Jang noted that this season, “We definitely want to have fun. A tangible goal is making the NEWMAC tournament in the postseason, too.”
The team is also shorter in size in comparison to their opponents. “The tallest person on our team is 5’10. Overall, average height [in Division 3] is normally 5’8” or 5’9”, and our average is 5’6,” Jang explained. The team approaches this shortcoming as an opportunity to focus on boxing out and rebounding during practice for a strategic advantage.
Beyond new additions to the roster, Blue Basketball welcomed Assistant Coach Kaitlin Lewis to the team this year. Lewis, a 2017 graduate of Trinity College, joins the coaching staff after four years on Trinity’s varsity team. To Jang and the rest of the team, she brings a commendable amount of support and understanding.
“She’s really young and can relate to us as players. It’s helpful because she just got out of playing in college,” Jang observes.
The addition of a recent graduate and seasoned player also helps the team during practices when they would typically fall short on players. Jang explains that, “When we scrimmage in practice, we need more than just the three extra people. We need our new coach to step in, too.”
With a minimum of five players necessary for each game, one concern that the team has is health. Any injuries or illness increase how long the rest of the players must remain on the court.
The team of eight is also working to prevent fouls, as the coaches emphasize that they can’t afford to foul out. Jang comments that “We can’t really get into foul trouble during games because we’re all playing 25 minutes a game, and if someone ends up with fouls too early, it’s going to be a lot of running for us.”
The team began their season on Nov. 17 with a game against Oneonta College at the Vassar Invitational. Though the team lost by a mere three points in overtime, they were able to come back the following day and defeat Simmons College in an easy 68-39 victory. They now hold a 2-2 record and will begin conference play with an away match against Emerson College today at 7pm.