Featured Imgaes Opinion

No Longer a jv baller

RAIKA KIM
COPY EDITOR

   I have never been the best at basketball. Playing on the Pinewood junior varsity  girls basketball team since my freshman year, I was never the Stephen Curry or the LeBron James of the team. But I loved it. I loved basketball so much that, despite being a benchwarmer my first two years, I never quit and finally became a starter in my
junior year.

   In our last game against Menlo, we lost by six, putting us at second place in league. I can’t tell you how disappointed and upset I was. But I thought to myself, “It’s okay. We’ll get them

next year.”

   Little did I know that my high school basketball career had just ended, right then and there.

   Apparently, seniors aren’t allowed to play on JV. Hearing this, I sent the athletic directors of all the other schools in the league a lengthy email asking them to approve.

   While some responded agreeing with the absurdity of the rule, others told me that it is actually all up to the Pinewood administration. I then emailed athetlic director Matt Stimson and he told me that JV is for freshmen and sophomores to develop their basketball skills, and if I want to play basketball, I need to try out for varsity. Stimson added that, JV is technically for freshmen and sophomores, and juniors are only allowed to play because more players
were needed.       

   “We wanted and still want to give the freshman and sophomores the best chance to improve and reach their goal of playing varsity,” Stimson said in his email response.

   The only way seniors are allowed to play according to league regulations is if the school can prove it is short on numbers. Even then, Pinewood must petition and get the league officials’ approval.

   “The only time seniors played on JV was five or six years ago when Jackee was coaching the team, and without the seniors, there were only four players on the team,” Stimson said.

   Although I understand the rule and why there is such a rule, I still think it’s unfair.

   First of all, if I was actually good enough to be on varsity, I would already be on the team. There’s a reason why I’ve been on JV since freshmen year. Second, just because I’m a senior doesn’t mean I am significantly better than a freshman. There were times when freshmen and sophomores made up the starting lineup when I didn’t. Third, maybe some seniors are physically bigger than underclassmen, but I am 5’3”, going onto 5’4”. There are eighth graders who are taller than me. Finally, the fact that freshmen and sophomores are prioritized makes no sense, because that’s basically saying that it is more important for them to play the sport they love than me to play the sport I love. Plus, if as underclassmen they did develop as basketball players but not enough to make it on Varsity, the “no seniors” rule teaches them that the years of effort do not pay off in their senior year.

   It bothers me that my passion for the sport is being completely disregarded and my opportunity to play one last time is being stripped away just because of some arbitrary rule that, mind you, is not even an official WBAL rule. It bothers me even more that Pinewood won’t even try to fight for me despite my attempts to communicate how badly I want to play on the JV team this year.

   I have decided to be the assistant coach for the JV girls basketball team since I want to stay involved as much as I can, but I will definitely miss playing on the court. Hopefully, Pinewood overrules this rule in the near future so other passionate seniors won’t be barred from playing their favorite sport in their last year as a high school student.

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   I have decided to be the assistant coach for the JV girls basketball team since I want to stay involved as much as I can, but I will definitely miss playing on the court. Hopefully, Pinewood overrules this rule in the near future so other passionate seniors won’t be barred from playing their favorite sport in their last year as a high school student.

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