A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Balancing school and basketball


Shooting hoops isn’t the only thing that student basketball players have to worry about. Being a student and an athlete is a full package, and is often hard for them to balance out their education and their favorite sport. Students who are interested in playing a time-committing sport in high school should be aware of the ups and downs that come along with the interested sport. Playing basketball isn’t just fun and games, student athletes have to be just as committed to school as they are on the court.

“Trying to keep up with homework and playing at the same time is pretty hard, we have practice everyday,” shooting guard Damien Miller, 12, said.

Having practice every day for two hours makes it challenging for student players to keep up with their homework and study time. They have found ways to keep up with their education as well as their game.

“I try to stay on the best schedule I can. Whether it means doing homework late at night after practice or games. [I also get] homework or studying done in class or lunch. I just do my best to be ahead and ready because I know how tiring it can get having practice and games every night,” power forward Caedon Palmer, 12, said.

Challenges bounce here and there, and it is important for players to keep up the game and not shy away from the challenge. Not having as many skilled players on the team as they did last year, has caused returning players to doubt their ability on winning games and playing well. However, they motivate each other and stay strong in order to improve as a team.

“I thought we’d be good at first, but we had our ups and downs but now that we overcame those bumps, we became a better team than we were in the beginning,” point guard Jett Tan, 11, said.

Apart from balancing their busy schedules, these student athletes have to overcome other challenging tasks on the court, such as having to play smarter, getting the opponent frustrated and out of their comfort zone and remembering the play.

“It’s difficult to remember the play sometimes, it’s always knowing what you’re doing on the court,” Miller said.

However these challenges don’t stop these athletes from playing the sport that they have grown up with. Their passion for basketball inspires them to get out on the court and try their best to make their school proud.

“Seeing others around me in my family that played basketball and players on past Orange Glen teams before I came to the school, is what made me certain I wanted to play on the team and be a part of Patriots basketball. We have a lot of pride and go out and succeed every year and that’s something a lot of schools don’t do,” Palmer said.