Freshman develops her basketball skills, becomes leader of the JV girls’ basketball team

March 6, 2020 — by Kaasha Minocha

In the JV girls’ basketball team game against Wilcox High School on Feb. 16, freshman guard Jenny Campbell hit six 3-point shots and scored 20 points, showcasing the skills that have grown to be one of her defining and  eye-catching strengths on the court.

These days, she makes it look easy. It wasn’t always that way.

Starting the sport at 10, she said she was always the shortest and weakest player on the TopFlight and Cages club teams in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Even so she never walked away. 

“Basketball allows you to be creative,” she said. “There’s a lot of strategy, teamwork and competition involved, and it has helped me become a better person because there are many life lessons imbedded into the game such as unselfishness, communication and teamwork.” 

With her increased skills and dedication to the sport, Campbell has gained more confidence and scored much more over the past couple years, becoming a leader on the school team. Since she began playing on the JV team, Campbell has dramatically improved as a defender, 3-point shooter and ball handler.

“My most prominent job on the team is being the shooter and one of the ball handlers,” Campbell said. “I recently developed an aptitude to shoot threes, which I believe has added something to the team.”

Beyond her skill on the court, the team relied on Campbell to energize players.

 “Jenny is someone who will bring a smile to your face whenever you step into the gym by cracking random jokes,” freshman guard Anika Verma said.

Verma, who has played with Campbell since sixth grade, said the two have bonded during the countless hours spent together on and off the court.

“If you mess up, she will comfort you or will tell you that it’s OK, and she really motivates you,” Verma said.

Campbell loved the sisterhood of this year’s highly talented JV team, “To be on this team with some amazing teammates and coaches has been an unforgettable experience,” Campbell said. “The way our team stayed together through the hardships and triumphs is something I’ll never forget. I’ve created so many bonds with every single player on this team including both of the coaches.” 

Campbell learned this year about the sacrifices that lie ahead with high school basketball. 

“I had to give up a lot of my time I would use for homework for basketball,” Campbell said, “and if you’re sick, you still have to go to practice.”

Despite these tradeoffs, she believes their work has paid off. This season, the team ended in first place with an undefeated league record of 12-0 and an overall season record of 21-1.

The only loss the girls suffered throughout the season was  to traditional powerhouse Archbishop Mitty High School in the semi-final bracket of their winter tournament, the Cupertino Classic Girls Basketball Tournament. Despite the loss, Campbell said the team succeeded in forcing their tough opponent into tough situations with their strong defense, making a name for themselves.

“We are definitely up-and-comers because no one knew about our team before we entered into the winter tournament against Mitty, and they expected our game to be another easy blowout,” Campbell said. “After such a promising season, I know that we will do really well in the future.”

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