Check stats for the Hamilton Huskies’ girls’ basketball team and not one specific player will jump off the sheet as the program’s All-Star.
That’s not to say the girls who make up Hamilton’s roster aren’t talented, it’s actually the opposite. Almost every single girl on the team has the ability to be a standout star, but they’re more worried about the team’s outcome than their own stats.
“It’s probably the most unselfish group I’ve ever seen of high school kids. Usually, somebody wants more touches, more shots,” Hamilton coach Trevor Neider said. “They really buy into being a team. They’re a great group of kids.”
The Huskies know their strength lies in their ability to work together, and it shows on the court.
As last year’s 6A state champions, many of the girls know what it takes to win a title and understand it’s greater than having one single player lead the team. They are all understanding that is how the Hamilton program works.
“Last year’s team set a foundation,” Neider said. “They were a great group of kids who worked hard, and this group has kind of taken off from there. This group is a talented group.
“With winning last year, they know what they expectations are, they know what it takes and we’re trying to talk about doing all of the little things to get to the next level.”
While sinking buckets and playing defense is all a major part of the game, it’s not everything.
Success on the court also stems from a team’s ability to communicate effectively, pass the ball around to each other, create plays and set up shots. This is where Hamilton’s strong team bond comes in clutch.
Their ability to mesh so well on the court comes from their relationships they’ve fostered with each other off the court. The girls really feel like they have a family in their teammates and it shows. Despite losing some of the team’s key point guards from last year, the Huskies still look like a well-oiled machine out on the court.
Junior Samara Curry said while this group is still adjusting to the changes, it’s helped everyone else continue to grow as players as they push themselves to take on new roles.
“I think we’re figuring out how we’re newly going to play with each other without some of our other components, but it’s really coming together because we’re just all so close and when you have that team chemistry, it just all meshes really well,” Curry said.
For senior Victoria Davis, the part of the team effort that goes into finding success is recognizing where players need to step up and contribute more to help fill in some of the holes.
“We lost a few seniors that had a big role, so it’s more stepping up to the plate, taking their position and still leading the team to state,” Davis said. “We know we still have most of the same people, and we know we can do it, it’s just doing the right things to get there.”
Davis said part of how they’re able to fill the holes is by knowing each other so well and knowing what their tendencies are so they can be there to play a supportive roll in the effort.
“We always know we can rely on the other to have each other’s back,” Davis said. “We know that if they’re going to do one thing, the others will be right behind so they can just kick it to them. We just know what each person is going to do and it’s easier to play like that.”
Senior Zakiirah King knows if the team is able to continue building off of what they already have in place now, they’ll have a legitimate shot at repeating as state champions. However, King knows the team will have to remain mentally disciplined as the season continues if they want to see success.
“We’re just looking to continuously play and not get in our heads and say ‘we won state.’ You know that’s awesome to have, but we’ve got a whole other year and we want to still continue to progress and collectively get better,” King said.
Hamilton’s girls know that the path to the championship will not be an easy one especially with other teams like Perry and Chandler in its division, but they know that working together will give them the best shot.