Cierra Olsen grows into a confident play on the court

THERE are more differences that the girls and boys basketball teams have other than their gender. The connection with the team, how they practice, and what motivates them are just a few examples.  It just takes a little more than a glance to discover their uniqueness. One player in particular is just one example of someone that helps the girls basketball team show their differences to the school.

Here at Granger, one of the many ways to join a sports team is to go to open gym and participate. This is the way Cierra Olsen (12) found her encouragement to be on a team. “I went to open gym and the environment was just fun,” Olsen said. This happened during her sophomore year of high school, where she also made some friends from both the softball and basketball teams.

Joining a team can make you gain friends in an instant. “I actually met her my sophomore year through softball,” Aspen Earnshaw (12) said. Earnshaw shared that she loves how caring Olsen is and what a great friend she is.

Her teammates agree.

“I met Cierra my sophomore year when I tried out for the team. I love that she can always make you laugh or smile,” Nyibol Makol (12) said.

After successfully making it onto the team, Olsen became busier than usual. However, it has made a positive impact on her personal life. “Even though I am busy, it has also helped me come out of my shell and become more open,” Olsen said. Being on a team comes with the package of communication and trust. Athletes have to know how their team is doing for them to play the game all together.

It can seem like a competition when there’s two basketball teams and one team is the opposite gender. In reality, it’s nothing like that. “I feel like the girls team is more open and talkative, but both teams are really good and are really cool,” Olsen said. “We need to remember that whether on the same team, club, or extra-curricular activity, we are all Granger Lancers,” Coach Smith said.

When a team player meets her coach and team for the first time, it can seem a bit scary, so she doesn’t show her full personality. “My first impression of Cierra would have to be that she was very shy and doesn’t like being in the spotlight,” Coach Smith said. Now, Olsen’s coach knows her as the coachable, positive player she really is. Olsen always brings a 100 percent effort to the classroom and the court.

While Olsen is juggling the regular high school life and the sports team, it’s good to know she’s still the same person to her friends. “She is crazy and funny but a good person to vibe with,” Makol said. “She just acts like Cierra,” Earnshaw said. Olsen is surrounded by supportive friends, teammates, and a supportive coach. Which means it’s good vibes all around.

Some will say that positive attitude is the biggest key to success in sports. If that is the case, then Olsen is sure to succeed on the court and beyond.