To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to the article “Girls Basketball for all ages flourishing on the Vineyard,” [February 2].
I have been a parent of a girls basketball player on the Island for many years. My daughter played youth basketball, interscholastic ball, travel, AAU, and now high school. It has been a wonderful experience for her, and although there was limited talent when she attended Tisbury School, she still played with the travel team and was exposed to an elevated level of play.
The Island’s youth programs are very good and teach the basics well. However, I think it is difficult to make the case that the high school girls basketball team is “flourishing.” The paper mentions that the team is poised to make the tournament. Their record is currently under .500. The article also does not mention that they have not beaten a team with a winning record, a team in their league, or won a game by less than 5 points, and that they are currently ranked 119th in the state.
There is a malaise about the Vineyard high school girls team that is disturbing. I don’t know what it is, but it is not the talent. These same girls were ranked higher than our current travel team when they were in eighth grade, and had only one loss. The girls are getting frustrated. Of my daughter’s seventh- and eighth-grade travel teams, a number of the girls are not playing any more, and one has left the Island to play elsewhere. My daughter, one of the leading scorers and leading rebounder on the team, has expressed to me her frustration, to the point of telling me that she is thinking of not playing next year. She has mentioned it is not that she has stopped loving the game, it is just that she is disappointed with the program.
I have been told she is a shoe-in for the All Cape & Islands team this year, and the whole idea of her abandoning the game we love leaves me crestfallen. When she was a little girl, she hated to lose. To the point that she would storm away in anger. I asked her recently if she still felt that way. She replied, “Yes, but on this team I’ve learned how.”