HERMITAGE, Pa. – Great teams have more than just great talent, they have great chemistry as well.
The Kennedy Catholic girls certainly have plenty of both, and it’s one of the biggest reasons they will be playing for a state championship on Thursday against Northumberland Christian (12:10 p.m. at the GIANT Center).
This team is unselfish to the core, priding itself on suffocating defense and balanced scoring.
“Our bond is amazing,” said junior guard Paris Gilmore. “We all get along, we help each other and we grow together. Every day it’s nothing but good vibes and smiles amongst us.”
Gilmore, a talented junior point guard, is one of the Golden Eagles’ biggest weapons. But they also have another great trait – unselfishness. Every player, starters through JV knows their role and plays it well.
“Communication and being there for one another has helped us grow to be here today,” Gilmore said.
They are indeed a family.
“It is an honor to be a part of the Kennedy family,” said senior Bellah DiNardo. “We work so hard everyday and every girl gives 100 percent no questions asked. It feels amazing to wear the KC uniform in Hershey.”
And it’s about so much more than just basketball.
“It represents more than basketball,” DiNardo said. “Being a role model in our school and community is very important.”
It’s about representing the student in ‘student-athlete.’
“It means a whole lot to represent Kennedy as a whole,” Gilmore said. “On and off the court, maintaining the high standards as a student-athlete of our school.”
And those that came before them have played a major part in them getting to this point as well.
“Three of our seniors’ (from 2020), Mariah Vincent, Addie Flanders, and Malia Magestro, season got cut short,” coach Justin Magestro said. “We promised them when they graduated we would get there one year and they would be part of it. They are going to be making the trip to Hershey with us as well.”
That team may very well have gotten to Hershey, but now they will get to celebrate knowing they are a major reason why this team is there in 2022.
Again, that team-first, family approach is seen all throughout the program.
“Hands down our love and respect for each other on and off the court,” DiNardo said as a key to the team’s success. “The energy we create together is unmatched!
“Every girl is always willing to give their all at any time. We are truly the definition of a team. We never tear each other down, but instead, we always try to bring each other up.”