Practice Players–Guys–Play Big Role in Lady Tritons’ Success

Sam Schmid, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

It has been a tradition here at Notre Dame Academy for the girls basketball team to incorporate boys as players during their practices.

The boys, as practice players, get a chance to enjoy the game of basketball while helping the girls team improve.

Max Healy, Garrett Moureau, Cade Van Hout and Wesley Glime all contributed as girls practice players this year.

“I enjoy playing basketball, but I didn’t want to fully commit to the boys basketball team,” said Healy.

Practice players, like the ones listed above, are contacted by either the girls on the team or their coach, Sara Rohde.

This season, Sami LeFever and Keighley Blindauer, the only seniors on the girls team, “basically forced” the boys’ to come to practice at the start of the year.

In Moureau’s case, coach Rohde contacted him to become a practice player.

Ashley Lemens, a junior on the girls’ basketball team, said, “At the start of the season, it was hard to get the boys to come to the practices and workouts that we had, but over time I think our team definitely grew on them.”

Notably, the practice players have gone to the girls’ 5:30 a.m. practices, Saturday morning practices, and shootarounds before games, according to Lemens.

“They are always going 110% and pushing us to work harder and to play faster,” said Blindauer.

The practice players themselves feel like they are developing better skills for the girls and creating a winning atmosphere.

“I love to watch them compete at a high level. After a good practice I feel like,the girls are more likely to play well against their competition,” said Healy.

There are ways, as the female players point out, that the practice players could improve.

“Wes could not foul as much, Max could be just better at basketball and Garrett needs to make shots that aren’t three pointers,” said Blindauer.

The practice players have gone cosmic bowling with the girls team and also have been invited to some team dinners.

“I can’t even explain how dedicated they are to helping us. They really do push us to be our best,” said Lemens.