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More than just a basketball program, a family

The+Women%E2%80%99s+Varsity+Basketball+Team+gathers+to+celebrate+teammate+Kennedi+Myles%E2%80%99s+1%2C000th+point.+The+Lady+Eagles%0Atriumphed+over+West+Clermont+in+an+Eastern+Cincinnati+Conference+matchup+on+Dec.+3.
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More than just a basketball program, a family

The Women’s Varsity Basketball Team gathers to celebrate teammate Kennedi Myles’s 1,000th point. The Lady Eagles
triumphed over West Clermont in an Eastern Cincinnati Conference matchup on Dec. 3.

The Women’s Varsity Basketball Team gathers to celebrate teammate Kennedi Myles’s 1,000th point. The Lady Eagles triumphed over West Clermont in an Eastern Cincinnati Conference matchup on Dec. 3.

Courtesy Zuri Williams

The Women’s Varsity Basketball Team gathers to celebrate teammate Kennedi Myles’s 1,000th point. The Lady Eagles triumphed over West Clermont in an Eastern Cincinnati Conference matchup on Dec. 3.

Courtesy Zuri Williams

Courtesy Zuri Williams

The Women’s Varsity Basketball Team gathers to celebrate teammate Kennedi Myles’s 1,000th point. The Lady Eagles triumphed over West Clermont in an Eastern Cincinnati Conference matchup on Dec. 3.

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While some of us used Christmas break to catch up on sleep and take part in other activities, the WHHS Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity Basketball Teams went down to Clarksville, Tennessee to compete in Zaxby’s Holiday Tournament. They took it as opportunity to improve their skills on the court but also grow together as a family.

The Lady Eagles won the tournament and went undefeated in three games, outscoring their opponents in total by 157 points.

Lady Eagles Varsity Head Coach Adam Lazar said, “We did what we were supposed to do. We started playing the good team basketball we knew we were capable of.”

The boys went 2-1 and finished third overall in the tournament. Head Coach Ricardo Hill described the team’s play on the court in Tennessee as  “alright” but noticed how incredible their team chemistry has become. “It was a good experience for us. The boys staying together in a house allowed everyone’s energy to feed off one another giving us a bond not a lot of teams have,” Hill said.

Being a great basketball team requires more than just talented players. It takes toughness, selflessness and good communication. Sacrificing personal glory for the good of the team separates a special team from a merely decent team. The team understands for them to be successful they shouldn’t play with each other, but for each other.

After their only loss in Tennessee, the team took ownership of their faults, and only worked harder to correct them. They came back the next day and showed their perseverance by winning a close game in their final game of the tournament.

Hill said, “I love our cohesiveness. We’re a family. This is the closest team we’ve had since our state championship team.”

While both the boys’ and girls’ teams took action on advancing their skills in basketball, they also had a lot of time to grow closer outside of a gym. The boys competed in wrestling matches, something they deemed a “bonding experience” and the girls’ team decided to embark on a sport they don’t excel at as much at as basketball.

SENIOR Kennedi Myles, center for the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team, said “We went bowling and we sucked. It was fun to do an activity that we didn’t have to stress about.”

Christmas break is now over and the second semester is on it’s way with cold temperatures and snow falling. But now the heart of the high school basketball season is finally here, with both the Lady Eagles and boys’ team continuing their positive trend.

The boys’ team has won three conference games thus far, including Turpin, who is currently first in the conference with only two losses. They are confident about continuing to win and showing out in the postseason.

Hill said, “We need our guys to keep developing, we need to keep improving our defense. Every one of our players are important pieces to the puzzle. If our older players keep leading the way they are, we should be in a good place come tournament time.”

The Lady Eagles have also been playing outstanding ball, looking to protect the Eastern Cincinnati Conference throne.

You can catch the Lady Eagles next in action at home versus ECC rival Turpin High School Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.  The Boys’ Varsity Eagles play next away at Kings High School on Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Both of these teams are extremely unique with truly tight-knit bonds. Both teams even have a member on their team that aren’t players but contribute a lot to the team as a whole.

Rehme Leanza
The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team celebrates their upcoming season. The team is
currently 5-3 in the conference and 9-5 overall.

SENIOR David Akanbi is the Team Manager for the Boys’ Varsity Eagles. He has been a part of the WHHS basketball program since seventh grade. He’s incredibly passionate about the team and loves basketball dearly.

Max Poynter, ‘22, recognized Akanbi’s incredible work ethic at practices. He took it upon himself to create a group chat with his teammates, excluding Akanbi, proposing that they should do something special for him. They decided to all pitch in around ten dollars each and buy Akanbi a pair of Kyrie 2 Lows from Footlocker.

Poynter said, “David is a great dude and he puts a bunch of effort into our team and our practices, so the team and I felt that we should repay him for all the time and energy he put into our team.”

Not only did the boys string together a perfect plan, they did it without the help or guidance of any of their coaches. Akanbi wasn’t the only one stunned by the shoe gift–Coach Hill was also in shock.

Hill tweeted, “How do you know your team is Special? When all of them chip in and buy a teammate some new kicks without the coaches knowing… #GreatTeammates #WalnutFamily #MoreThanAGame.”

“They’re cool people, everyone has each others’ backs. No matter what’s going on, we will still fight for the team,” Akanbi said.

The boys did a fantastic job showing their appreciation for one of their brothers. Aside from doing a good deed, the boys have once again made their tight bond tighter.

SENIOR Kameron Smith is the Team Manager for the Lady Varsity Eagles. Since Smith is very close with the players on the team and Coach Lazar, he decided he wanted to be a part of the team officially this year.

Myles said, “He helps us with drills at practice and supports us. We love his positive attitude.”

Come out to the games to support our WHHS basketball teams and be a part of the family too.

About the Contributors
Jackson Dunbar, Sports Writer

In his first year on the Chatterbox, senior Jackson Dunbar is a sports writer.

This is Jackson’s first time doing anything with journalism and he...

Rehme Leanza, Style & Culture Writer

In her second year as a Chatterbox staff member, Rehme Leanza is excited to work as a photographer and writer.
This year she hopes to create interesting...

Kaylee Robbins, Sports Writer

In her first year as a Chatterbox staff member, Kaylee Robbins hopes to get at least 5 articles published.

Robbins is currently in Newswriting 2.  She...

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