Sidwell Basketball Prepares for Another Historic Season

Currently ranked No. 1 and No. 10 in the country, respectively, the Sidwell Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball Teams hope to replicate last year’s success. After winning ISL, MAC and DCSAA titles, as well as seeing national success at the State Champions Invitational, both teams’ mentalities have changed. 

Last year, the girls’ team took advantage of the element of surprise.

“I don’t think people knew how good we were last year,” said Head Coach Tamika Dudley. “But they know this year,” she added.

Dudley explained that the team faces “a lot of pressure… to try to repeat what we did last season.” But she believes that “if we can come together as a team and stay together as a team, we can have a successful year.” 

On the boys’ side, the mentality has also changed, according to senior Selden Pickens. 

“[W]e no longer have the underdog mentality that helped us last year, but we certainly still have a lot to prove, and we have even bigger goals,” Pickens said. 

They know how good we are this year, and there’s a lot of pressure this year to try and repeat what we did last season.

— Tamika Dudley

Players on both basketball teams have set their sights on ambitious goals. 

In the upcoming season, junior Caleb Williams hopes to “win a lot of championships: back-to-back championships, state championships.” 

Similarly, juniors Leah Harmon and Marley Long, both players on the girls’ basketball team, expressed that their goals were to stay undefeated, as well as improve. 

For seniors like Jadyn Donovan, “having a great last experience for high school” is also a goal for the season.

The girls’ basketball team will have many opportunities to prove themselves, as the players will travel to Arizona and Massachusetts for two national tournaments, as well as compete in the Girls Invitational Basketball Tournament, which will be broadcasted on ESPN. For boys’ basketball, the team is grateful for the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the Washington area and nationwide. 

To prepare to compete at the highest levels, the teams have put in work on and off the court. Junior Marley Long credited hard work and tight-knit relationships off the court for the team chemistry on the floor. 

Fellow junior Leah Harmon agreed. 

“We hold everyone accountable — if someone isn’t working hard during practice, we will push them,” Harmon said. “Not only are we close on court, but we also help each other at school,” she added. 

Similarly, junior Jake Williams said the men’s team is “like a brotherhood.”

Team-building is vital to the program’s success. 

“There are so many open gyms, and we are able to build some chemistry,” senior Jadyn Donovan said. “We’re in the process of becoming good teammates that can communicate with each other,” she continued.

Both teams have gained new members — freshmen Jordan Jackson, Genesis Schneeberg and Ava Yoon, sophomore Acaden Lewis and Williams. Though they are new to the team, the athletes look forward to the season. 

“[I’m] nervous but also very excited,” freshman Genesis Schneeberg, who plays small forward, said. 

Seniors are also excited to lead the team. 

“I have more knowledge and experience from previous years,” Pickens explained. “And I have more of a responsibility to help my younger and newer teammates get acquainted with the system,” he added.

Overall, both teams are excited to compete again. 

“This season is a great opportunity for our team and players collectively,” Head Coach Eric Singletary ’93 said. “We are truly grateful and excited to represent the Quaker Nation,” he concluded.