Girls basketball to scrimmage at American Airlines Center


Nick Smith

[From left to right] Junior Casey Perkins and sophomores Grace Bennett and Mallory Adamson work on their dribbling in practice.

Caleb Stein, Staff Writer

For many athletes, one of the common dreams is to one day play under the bright lights, at the highest level, on the professional court or field. Tomorrow, the girls basketball team will get to do just that, and experience playing on the Dallas Mavericks’ home court at the American Airlines Center, as they play against Mansfield High School.

While the team doesn’t have any film on its opponent, head coach Lance Boxell noted that the team returns 10 players from a 25-9 team that made it to the second round of playoffs last season.

“We expect to have a very successful year and compete for a district title,” Boxell said. “With the experience from our returners as well as some new key additions we think we can have another great season.”

For the team to be able to get their first game action on the home floor of the Mavericks has many of the players excited.  

“Playing on the Mavericks’ floor is a chance of a lifetime,” senior Bethany Smith said. “It’s a huge venue that has nationally televised games during the season so it’s definitely a privilege to play on that court.”

The team has just started doing after-school practices, and senior Tori Hanson said the opportunity to play at the American Airlines Center has raised energy levels and motivation in practice.

“Having this huge opportunity to showcase our team’s talent has affected the team’s energy immensely,” Hanson said. “We all want to play our best to make the AAC game a good memory and show more than just our parents what our team is capable of.”

For the team, it will be their first scrimmage of the year, and Smith said she couldn’t think of a better way to start of the season for the team.

“Playing [at the American Airlines Center] will help in team bonding as well as get us motivated to play the best we can,” Smith said. “I believe this will be one of many memorable moments this year especially since all three of our teams get to experience this great opportunity together.”

While the experience may be a great opportunity, the team has not lost focus on improving in practice and using this scrimmage to get ready for the season. Boxell said the team worked extremely hard throughout the offseason.

“Our girls did Performance Course, league play, skills, and open gym during the summer. In the fall, we did open gym and league play,” Boxell said. “They invest their time year-round in order to give us the best chance to be successful each year.”

Boxell said the team’s excitement since the announcement that they would have the chance to play at the American Airlines Center has been extremely high, and players started to prepare accordingly.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Boxell said. “As soon as I announced that we were playing there many of the girls starting practicing NBA 3-point shots.”

Although the venue they will be playing at will be different, Smith said that the preparation for the game wouldn’t change.

“[The American Airlines Center] is definitely a different setting than we are accustomed to,” Smith said. “The preparation is still the same. The teams are still the same. The plays are still the same. The stands are what will be different. I’m looking forward to it.”