Guest Article: Jumping Over the Stress of Basketball

Ben Dunham

by Breonna Burnside
by Breonna Burnside
Freshman Haven Johnston practices at open gym during the off-season. She is one of four freshmen who played on varsity for the Lady Knights this year.

by Breonna Burnside

Going into your first year of high school isn’t always easy. Especially not for freshman Haven Johnston, who also had to juggle homework, a social life, and going from playing basketball for the freshman team, to JV then getting moved up to varsity one day later.

“It was hard to balance basketball and all the other new challenges that came along with high school,” said Johnston.

Johnston was excited after finding out that she had made varsity so quickly. “During basketball tryouts, watching varsity,  I thought they were sweet. Little did I know that they would soon be my future teammates,” said Johnston.

Even though Johnston was excited, soon after joining varsity she become very stressed and started doubting herself. Being one of the best players on the freshman basketball team, and then becoming just a team member of varsity. Johnston was used to getting all the attention and barely sitting down to take breaks during games because she was always playing. Then when Johnston joined varsity, she sat on the bench a lot.

“I would pick her up from practice and she would be so sick. When we got home she would take a shower, barely eat her dinner, and then go straight to bed, not saying one word because of how much they worked her,” said Johnston’s mom, Korri Johnston.

Going to more and more practices and playing more, Johnston finally got to show her new team her skills. By the end of the week she was playing in more games, building up her self esteem again.

By the end of the season there were twelve girls on varsity. Out of the twelve, four of the girls were freshman. Those girls were JeNessa Boggan, Grace Labadie, Arieyonna Allen and Haven Johnston. Having four freshman on a varsity team is very rare. According to athletic director Mrs. Gaugier, last year there were only two freshman girls on varsity and the year before that there were none.

Johnston says after getting to know her team her favorite part was just hanging out together. “I always enjoyed going to away games because me and my team mates would laugh, make jokes and spend time together. We would think about how the game would be and if we would beat them or not,” said Johnston.

By the end of the season Johnston was making half of her team’s points. Their last game Johnston made eleven points. “I can’t believe how far I’ve come. From just playing basketball for fun now I love it so much that I can see myself playing basketball as my career,” said Johnston.

Johnston says she will continue playing basketball for Loy Norrix and can’t wait for the next season to start.