Senior Marcela Riddick is one the 2015-2016 Varsity Basketball captains and is in charge of facilitating the communication between the players, coaches and referees. Riddick has played on the basketball team for four years. The Oracle sat down with Riddick to hear more about her basketball career, the team and their goals for the season.
What do you love about playing basketball?
MR: My other two sports are cross country and track and all of them are team sports, but this is the one sport where we’re working together the whole time for one goal. It’s not as much about my personal best. I have four other girls on the court that I’m communicating with, that talking to, that I’m balancing off of, that are there when I need them, pick me up when I fall. So it’s a little different with track, you’re a little bit more independent, even though your goal is that trophy. In basketball you have to work together at each step of the way, and that’s something special that I get once a year.
I have four other girls on the court that I’m communicating with, that I’m balancing off of, that are there when I need them. In basketball, you have to work together at each step of the way, and that’s something special that I get once a year.
What do you hope to accomplish as a team this year?
MR: Basketball is the only patch I don’t have on my Letterman [jacket], so I’d love to go to at least round one of playoffs. I think we’re going to be a really strong team. We’re really young, but we’re so different, we have so many different ball handlers and we’re really fast. And we’re really small, so people don’t expect a lot from us, so we’re so confusing in a way that we can use that to our advantage.
While we’re not winning as many games as we’d want, we’re learning how to work with each other, we’re learning how to communicate, we’re learning how to get those fundamentals down so when league comes we can just wreck everybody.
How did you get into basketball?
MR: My first year playing basketball my team went undefeated. We were just absolutely incredible and it was great group of girls and just sparked the love for it I guess. Then the next two years in my middle school, I played it was really strong.
Then I came to Archer, and when you have leaders like Maia Barnett for two years, who push you to do your best 100 percent of the time, all I want to do is hopefully relay some of the same things to our younger girls. I love basketball, and I love being able to work with younger girls to make their games stronger.
How do you plan to help the team bond this year?
MR: A big thing for me is that keeping up with the morale is going to help with the bonding because there’s only eight of us. Last week we played a game with only five people. Playing four straight quarters is really hard emotionally and mentally if not as hard physically. Keeping the energy, keeping the positivity and pushing them forward to do their best and knowing when to stay safe. It’s a lot of the little things for me to keep them excited about the game.
The main thing is we’re playing basketball and it’s a fun game, when you’re on the court it’s a different feeling, and I want them to have that. We have a sleepover once a year, and that’s usually a little later in the season. Plus we go to Catalina for our Winter Tournament, which will be really fun.
What does a typical practice look like?
MR: We usually take the bus around 4:30 from Archer. We work on drills, we work on plays. Because we’ve had two straight weeks of tournaments, we haven’t had as many practices, which is a part of Coach Lennon’s philosophy. His philosophy is that we’re going to get in shape by playing games and playing games hard.
How would you describe the dynamic between the coaches and the team?
MR: Our coaching staff is just as big as our team. Coach Lennon is our head coach, Coach Alex Pegnato is our assistant coach, Coach Marlee Rice is one of our assistant coaches, but she is also helping us with the logistics of things and she is at games keeping statistics. We have two managers, Alyssa Downer ’17, Cydney Davis ’18 and then Gracie Marx ’18, who is an injured player who is coming to support us at our games.
Coach Lisa Live comes to our games, and she is incredibly helpful. Coach Jinbo comes to our games as well, which makes it eight and eight. Our support staff on this team is absolutely incredible. All of their contributions to the team make us who we are. And they push us in the games, especially with a lot of the younger players learning on the fly, it’s really nice to have that many people.