The Seattle Academy Girls Varsity Basketball Team is full of seniors, but Freshman Michaela Smith-Simmons joined these girls this season as one of the starters. Like some athletes, Michaela found her passion young, but she has continued to improve and bring her game to the next level. Recently she was offered to play for an AAU team called Tree of Hope. Michaela has dedicated her life to the court ever since the age of nine. “My teacher had the class talk about a place that calmed us. That is when I realized that a basketball court was the one place that I loved more than anything and it was the place for me,” says Michaela. While most people would expect the court to be chaotic, and noisy, Michaela finds the court to be her second home. I guess that’s what happens when you fall in love with a sport!
As a freshman on varsity, Michaela has found that the other upper classmen have been supportive and friendly to their younger teammates. “Being on Varsity feels amazing. The varsity team shows that a senior can be friends with a freshmen and actually talk to them and not just ignore them,” says Michaela.
Of course walking away from a game after win is the best feeling. A win is an entire team effort, and Michaela recognizes that her effort to win is part of the team’s. “Just seeing everyone so happy makes me happy because I feel as though if we win as a team then I have won as an individual. These moments make you smile and be proud of yourself.” Says Michaela.
Even though this was her first year as a Varsity player, Michaela showed great maturity on an off the court. She plans to pursue basketball and travel with her teams around the country. She hopes to play for a Division 1 school, with her first choice of UCLA. As a freshman starter on the girls’ Varsity Basketball team, Michaela has contributed maturity, skill, and leadership on and off the court.