4 Seniors Spotlight Spring Lake Basketball


Noor Baria, Reporter

The long 4-5 month winter season has begun, and this season consists of many breaks and spontaneous days off. Athletes start this season with exams and end their season with exams. They then have snow days as well as winter break and mid-winter break. With only one gym facility for all winter sports, these athletes are some of the most mentally disciplined athletes around. As the seniors are starting their final hoorah of basketball, the four returning seniors: Emma Nicles, Noor Baria, Jack Duggins and Carter Ball, tell us what makes basketball a sport to love and how it has affected them in their everyday lives. 

Emma Nicles, Varsity number 33, states: “I started playing basketball in 7th grade, and was really one of the only girls who hadn’t played before. I started playing that year technically only because my Mom wanted me to play. However, it was a decision that I am more than thankful to have made. The friendships and memories I’ve made both on the court and off over the past 6 years have been irreplaceable and I’m happy I chose to play, even if it wasn’t 100% my decision initially. Entering my final basketball season has been both a struggle but also a chance for growth. It’s definitely hard being one of only two seniors on a team but I’ve found that it’s much easier to fill that role when you’ve seen previous players lead so well. Basketball has impacted my life because it has helped me learn how to cope with struggles all while keeping a composed attitude. The winter sports season is a long and busy 4-5 months, but having the opportunity to play with a team much like mine has truly been the most rewarding part.” 

Another senior, Varsity number 20, Noor Baria states: “Senior year has come faster than I had anticipated and I feel others would agree. I started playing basketball in 6th grade and before that had never played nor touched a ball before. Basketball has changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. I have met teammates that are irreplaceable and have created bonds and memories that could never be forgotten. Basketball is a sport that can give anger, joy, and fear all in a span of minutes. That’s the beauty of the game — you dont know what the next minute holds. As one of the seniors its hard to fill in the shoes of multiple leaders from last year, but it gives us a chance to be strong leaders. I thank the coaching staff and Head coach Rich Hyde for all he has done for his girls and taught us it’s more than just a game its a family, its being sisters. Being one of the two seniors on my team and four within the boys and girls program I feel that I hold a strong leadership role for not just representing a team but the class of 2023. Spring Lake basketball has and always will have a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our team this year.”  

Furthermore, Varsity Number 50, Jack Duggins states: “Basketball is a sport to love because of the random fun, sad, and intense feelings. Being out on the court with four other guys knowing and where they will be and having trust that they will be there —  it builds a “dawg” mentality. I honestly love every game, the student section, and the bench celebrations — it’s an amazing moment. Being one of the few seniors means a lot, I feel like I’m representing not only me, but my whole grade when I walk out on that court.” 

Lastly, Varsity Number 10, Carter Ball states: “Basketball, to me, is a way to get away from everything — almost like I forget about the world and just hoop. I have played basketball for as long as I can remember, it has always been in my life and my family. One of the best things about basketball is the brotherhood, and the best friends that you make while playing that will last forever. Basketball brings people together, and it builds trust with one another that’s different than usual. It can make you happy and sad by just one game. Being one of the only four seniors is new, I like to think of it as a new challenge and I think it can help me improve myself to have to step up for leadership and be there for the players as one of the two seniors on our team.” 

Being a student athlete is more than just a game. As the time hits zero, the time for these four seniors’ basketball careers will as well. Their senior season is just beginning, but before they know it they will be saying their final goodbyes to the sport that not only shaped them as a person, but as a student-athlete. Let’s congratulate them and wish them the best of luck for their 2022-2023 season as they take their final steps within Spring Lake basketball.