The basket. Hardwood floors and a ball. Dribble, dribble, dribble, jump, swish! The basketball glides through the hoop, smooth and effortless. Again and again. And again. Two freshmen, Jasymne Huggins and Kristen Seyranian look to embrace the challenge of varsity.
They were moved up once women’s varsity basketball coach Bryan Gardere noticed their athleticism and commitment to the game. It was quickly noted how Huggins could almost dunk and both of them could make the large majority of their shots.
“Kristen is one of our best shooters on the team,” Gardere said. “Let’s say you had a shootout at a rally with all the varsity guys and Kristen. She’d probably be number one or two.”
Seyranian’s sister played basketball as well before she graduated from PHS a few years ago. Seyranian took interest in the game when she was in second grade after seeing her sister play, and was inspired to pick up the sport. Seyranian used to practice shooting in the gym while her sister had formal practice.
Constant exposure to the sport and all the shots she has taken is what made her better, Seyranian said.
They may not start immediately, but Gardere is aware of their skill, and will keep it in mind throughout the season.
After a loss in the CIF State Championship last year, the team is hungry to win. Women’s varsity basketball has had varying success in the postseason for nine of the past twelve years, and they wish to improve on their consistency.
Having these new and talented freshmen is going to be key to try and return to that level. When quite a few of the great players last year graduated, there was room for new gems to take their place, and they were easy to single out in the group at try-outs, Gardere said.
Huggins is aware that eventually she will have to take over the varsity basketball team with Kristen, along with sophomore Teylianna Alexander. Seven players out of ten players are seniors, and will not be returning.
“It’s important for the three of us to learn as much as we can from our seniors and get better to our fullest ability,” Alexander said. “Jasymne has put in a lot of work to make varsity as a freshman.”
Huggins and Seyranian work hard in order to improve and master their sport.
“Some of their skill comes from natural ability, but more comes from the time and effort they spend on the court,” Gardere said.
They both work to repeat what they have learned hundreds and hundreds of times in order to do it right.
“They’re really good,” Gardere said. “Our goal is to compete and play the best we can, and see how far that will take us.”