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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Jo’s Farewell to Basketball Seniors

Sam Jezak

3 … 2 …1 … and the digits on the clock flattened out to the dreaded 0.0, signifying the end of the basketball season and more importantly, the final time I got to play alongside some of the best friends and teammates I could’ve ever asked for. This past season has undoubtedly had its fair share of ups and downs, but what made it all worth it were the people I got to spend it with.

To my seniors, you made getting up for practices and games easy. You made showing up not a duty or a chore, but a privilege. You were, and still are, individuals that I’ll look up to and fight for every single day. So, even though it’ll never be enough, thank you. Thank you for the example you set for not only me, but the Pinewood community as a whole. You will all be missed.


Alex, let’s go for a quick trip down memory lane. Six years ago —yes, six,— I remember being a tiny, clueless fifth grader who, not going to lie, was terrified of you. Not because you were big or mean, but because you were the best shooter I’d ever played with. You rarely ever missed in practices or games, and you just had a feel for the game that’s hard to explain. However, six years later, you’re no longer just the B.S.I.A (best shooter in America) that I played with in 5th grade. You’re much more than that. You’re my OG shooting partner, someone I can always count on and one of my biggest supporters. If you told that scrawny little fifth grader she would be playing high school basketball with you, she wouldn’t believe you, but having done it for the past three seasons, I’m so glad I got the chance to. I’m going to miss watching your greatness on display every day at practice, I’m going to miss pointing to you after an assist, heck I’m even going to miss us arguing and teasing each other over the most trivial of things. Most importantly though, I’m just going to miss having you around. Seeing your evolution as not only a basketball player but also an individual has made me so proud, and any school would be lucky to have you in the fall. Go be great!


Stop crying, Sachi. I know you are. Anyways, I remember telling you this before, but my first ever impression of you was that you were fast. Lightning fast. Your split was a thing of beauty, and I always admired your play style from afar. It wasn’t until literally the week before school started that I heard you were transferring to Pinewood, and I was so excited. Although your first year here wasn’t exactly what you were expecting, I’m so glad you were able to be a part of our team that year, even if you could only celebrate from the sidelines. May the magical Menlo row boat live on forever. What’s most admirable about you, though, is that people are happy to see you walk into a room and sad to see you go. That’s a testament to your unwavering character, easy going personality and lovely sense of humor. Thank you for being my rock, for being a person I could always go to for anything. Chapman is so lucky to have not only Sachi the player, but Sachi the person as well.


Betti, what a ride. I still remember Doc sending me your highlight tape from Hungary and being ecstatic to play with a post like you. I know you’ve heard this a million times already, but I truly admire your courage. It isn’t easy traveling to a new country 6,000 miles away and leaving everything you’ve ever known back home, especially when you didn’t even know what was on the other side. For that, I truly want to thank you for picking us, for picking Pinewood. You had an opportunity, and without knowing much, you took a blind leap of faith and made the most of your time here. Even when you were homesick and basketball was the furthest thing on your mind, you still showed up with a bright, beaming smile on your face and made it your mission to share your joy with others. Not to mention, whenever I doubted myself during season, you were always there to pick me right back up with words of encouragement and motivation. That meant more to me than you’d ever know. Thank you, and I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do wherever you decide to do it, even if it’s 6,000 miles away.


Anika, thank you for everything. I still remember walking into Pinewood’s gym for the first time and being absolutely terrified to practice with Fever’s high school team. As an awkward freshman, I had no idea what I was doing and vividly remember getting so lost whenever one of the coaches would explain a new drill. Without asking, you immediately stepped in and helped me get the hang of everything super quickly. When I reflect on my three years with you at Pinewood, that will forever be a defining moment of our relationship because that’s the moment I realized I was in good hands. Not only would you guide me and help me through whatever it was that I needed, but you would do so in a kind, nurturing way as well. Additionally, thank you for being a great teammate and constantly pouring confidence into me these past few years. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

If I could pick one word to describe how I felt about this season, I would pick gratitude. Gratitude for the seniors, for the coaches, for everyone who made this year as special as it was. More specifically, to my seniors, thank you for bringing light to my life and bringing inspiration to those around you. Now, go shine that light for the rest of the world to see. I’m so thankful I got to be a little part of your journey.

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