Girls’ Basketball: New changes to the program


Richard Zhang, Managing Editor of Digital

LFA’s girls’ basketball teams have seen a lot of changes since the last time they stepped on the court. Aside from being the first time in two years that the team is playing without COVID-19 restrictions, there are also a lot of new faces, jerseys, and a travel tournament for the varsity team scheduled in New Jersey. 

First, let’s start with the coaches in their new roles. Tameka Carter and Dave Atas have stepped in to fill the roles of Head Coach and Assistant Coach of the Varsity team, while Tanika Golota and Marianela Gonzalez are in their roles as the Head Coach and Assistant Coach of the Junior Varsity (JV) team, respectively. Carter, a former college and professional basketball player, has had a wealth of experience coaching the game as well. Atas was an assistant coach for the boys Varsity Black team last year—his first stint as a basketball coach—and his knowledge and love for the game have led him to this new position. Golota is also a former college basketball player and former Varsity coach, focused on developing the JV girls with Gonzalez, who has been a coach for the JV team now for several years. While they are two separate teams, Varsity and JV regularly host joint practices, which Coach Atas described as “a great experience for all the players to work with different grades and skill levels so that they learn to work as a team together.” He added, “It really helps with team chemistry and pushing each other to be better in practice.” 

As for the players, there are a lot of new faces as well. Returning player and captain of the Varsity team, Tatum Young ‘23, exclaimed her excitement for her new coaches, teammates, and the overall season, “With the loss of two of our frontcourt players, Coach Carter has done a great job with rebuilding the team with guards, [putting] emphasis on speed and getting up and down the floor. Coach Atas and Coach Carter have been a great addition to helping us achieve our goals and have a successful season.”

Young has already made an impact through her leadership for her new teammates as well, as Riley Mormon ‘26 said, “I really like [my captain] Tatum, she’s really nice and a great role model for life.” Returner Emi Sierra ‘24 also stated her excitement for the new season, saying, “We are a small team but we are fast so we can run the floor back and forth and beat the teams we face. It’s gonna be fun.” Along with the new players on the team, they have also received brand-new white and black home and away jerseys for the new season, branded by Nike. These new jerseys coincide with the new, fast-paced, transition offensive identity described by the players and coaches. 

Another piece of excitement for the girls’ Varsity team will be their 3-day trip on December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at the Peddie School in New Jersey. Their first game is versus the Pennington School and other teams participating in the tournament include St Benedict’s, Hun, Kimball Union, Kimberton Waldorf, and Wilbraham and Monson. Selin Goekce ‘24 talked about her eagerness for the trip, saying, “We’re gonna have a lot of team bonding and going to a different state is going to be fun. Especially since I’ve never been to New Jersey so I’m interested in what it’s like.” 

The Varsity girls will also be taking a trip to cap off their season at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, ending on February 11th, while the JV season ends on February 8th at home against Carmel Catholic High School. As of November 16th, the girls’ Varsity team has won their first game as part of the local Vernon Hills Tournament, with fan vans running to each matchup. This season promises to be a new and exciting one not just for the girls, but for the entire school community to come out and cheer them proudly.