Once young people are honored with the title of being a team captain, they should rightfully feel a sense of pride. But, they should also keep in mind that they cannot rest on their laurels. Rather, they should fully understand that the hard work has just begun and ultimately realize that they have responsibilities far greater than just to themselves-indeed they are highly accountable to their coaches and teammates.
This winter season, Sarosha Parsons, Emily Waldenberg, Mykala Healy and Julia Kane have earned team captainship for the Livingston High School girls’ basketball program. Each of the captains, according to head coach Courtney Wicks, has demonstrated outstanding leadership.
“They are all seniors,” Wicks said. “I chose these captains because they lead by example, they are well regarded and respected by their school community and the members of the team. They also bring tremendous competitive experience, skills, high level basketball IQ, and the most amazing energy, synergy and attitude. They are the kind of leaders you try to build a legacy around.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Sarosha Parsons just joined a very few student athletes in Livingston High School history to score 1,000 points,” she adds. “It hasn’t been done in over 16 years.”
Wicks has witnessed the variety of ways in which the leaders of the team have become better players in their own right as well as the way they aide their teammates on a consistent basis.
“I have seen amazing commitment and improvement in player development, which has helped our overall team confidence and competitive spirit,” Wicks said. “We have yet to hit our peak and I believe that this team has a lot of good stuff to give.
“My captains and seniors are incredibly empathetic,” she continues. “They have this amazing ability to zero in on the intricacies of each individual student athlete’s player development process to help everyone make progress. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes in order to help them unpack their potential is very complicated and difficult to do. My seniors are very gifted in that regard.”
The entire roster for the Lancers have contributed in their own way.
“The varsity Roster consists of four sophomores-AJ Dansky, Jamie Handwerker, Ashley Reuter, and Efe Okiope, four juniors-Kayla Francione, Viane Villanueva, Kaitlyn Kelly, Desiree Brower, and six seniors-Emily Waldenberg, Julie Kane, Mykala Healy, Sarosha Parsons, Emily Goldson, and Holly Wright.
“While a few of my seniors have yet to decide where they will be attending college next year, all of them have been accepted to prestigious colleges and universities which includes Colgate, Loyola, Villanova, Syracuse, Penn State, Maryland, Franklin and Marshall.”
Wicks fully understands that the sport of basketball can teach lessons of life that go well beyond what happens on the court.
“Basketball is an incredibly tough sport to play, mainly because you can only have five players on the court at a time, it is very fast paced,” Wicks said. “It requires skills mastery, quick smarts, teamwork and intense physical fitness-these aspects of the game places tremendous pressure on players to produce and compete. Your strengths and weaknesses are evident for everyone to see and every achievement and mistake is obvious.
“It takes a tremendous amount of courage, desire, stick-to-it-ness and self confidence to play varsity basketball,” she says. “Even in the face of great anxiety and pressure to compete, this team tries their best to understand their truth by facing and taking on their anxieties and weaknesses to not only get better but to reach their potential both individually and collectively. I would not be able to create this kind of team culture without the leadership of my seniors.”