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Junior guides team through senior absence, influences teammates

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Playing basketball since elementary school, junior Hannah Villines leads the varsity team as a captain and starting player.

Playing basketball since elementary school, Hannah Villines, ’21, leads the team through her third high school season. After losing six senior players, the junior strives to display leadership on and off the court.

Although Villines participated in various sports growing up, she continued to play basketball every year.

“I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember,” Villines said. “I did little basketball camps when I was in kindergarten and first grade and I’ve played throughout all elementary school, for both travel ball and for school.”

Inspiring her to play basketball, Villines’s brother Tyler Villines, ’18, serves as a major influence in her life.

“I think just because my brother played and I always liked to play with him, it was just a lot of fun,” Villines continued. “My brother really pushed me to my limit and helped me to continue to get better and grow.”

Villines draws from the influence others have had on her life and aims to inspire others with her work ethic and drive. Carlee Zamarripa, ‘22, shares how Villines’ attitude influences her to improve as a teammate.

“I have personally always looked up to Hannah and the way she plays basketball,” Zamarripa said. “No matter what the score is, she can turn everyone’s attitude to the best just by saying little things to lift us up. I watch her challenge herself in little ways that makes her better and better, and that’s something I look up to doing myself.”

In the following podcast, Celeste Castaneda interviews Hannah Villines on her motivation behind playing basketball.

High school varsity girls basketball coach for five years Robert Foshee has seen Villines display ownership on the court and in the classroom.

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

The varsity girls basketball team met up over the summer to bond and construct new chemistry; their unity is displayed during games.

“This year Hannah’s leadership has been displayed a lot,” Foshee said. “Because six seniors graduating last season, Hannah has become one of the elder statesmen. She has done a great job of balancing the new players but also helping them along through encouragement and teaching.”

Zamarripa shares the ways she observes Villines showing leadership on the court and setting an example as a team captain.

“Hannah has been a huge leader to the team by encouraging everyone,” Zamarripa said. “She shows everyone what a leader looks like and someone who can be so committed to what the team looks like. She is always open to questions and always has the perfect answers to them.”

Having to rebuild the squad after losing six seniors last year, the team met up over the summer to bond and construct new chemistry. Villines has seen the team come together and continue to grow as the season progresses.

“It’s taken time but I really think that this year’s team is truly beginning to click,” Villines said. “The growth is becoming more and more evident each day.”

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Taking what she has learned from previous upperclassmen and coaches, Villines applies her skills to games and leads the team through competition.

As a starting player since her freshman year, Villines has taken the lessons learned from previous upperclassmen and coaches and applied them to her game.

“Since joining the team Villines has improved in all factors of the game.” Foshee continued. “When she first started she was called on to start right away as a freshman. She has improved offensively, defensively and as a leader.”

Foshee discusses one of his most memorable moments from Villines in last year’s season in a game against Wonderful College Prep Academy (WCPA).

“Hannah has a knack for big shots and not being afraid of big moments in games,” Foshee said. “I remember last year’s game versus WCPA where she hit a corner three-point shot that was huge. It pushed us into a bigger lead and helped clinch our East Sierra league championship.”

As the season progresses, Villines continues to lead the team through encouraging words and determination during games. Villines plans on attending a four-year university after graduating high school, but does not plan to continue to play basketball in college.

The next high school girls basketball game will be held at 5 p.m. at Alpaugh High School, Jan. 31. Go out and support your lady Eagles!

For more information on FC girls basketball, check out MaxPreps and Girls basketball box scores 2019-20.

For another profile, read Arun Singh brings energy to the field, pushes team to compete. For another article, read Gen. John F. Kelly speaks at SJV Town Hall about drug epidemic, time in White House.

Celeste Castañeda can be reached via email.

The following slideshow includes images of Villines playing on the varsity basketball team since freshman year.

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