‘Big Sister’ program bridges gap between veterans and rookies

‘Siblings’ bond to create a more unified basketball team


Michael Long, Reporter

After winning a conference title and having a winning record (15-7) for the first time since 2006-2007, the Lady Cards’ season came to an end in the first round of sectionals against Ben Davis High School.
Now, the seniors will graduate and head on to new things and will have to leave the team and their “little sisters” behind. For the past three seasons, the Lady Cards have had a program where the upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) are big sisters to the underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores).
Being a big sister on the team involves multiple things and is a little different from just being an average teammate. The main thing is being a mentor to the younger girls on the team. Since most of the big sisters are on varsity and most of the little sisters are on JV, the big sisters can help their little sisters out and make them better.
Aside from having the older varsity players becoming mentors to the younger Lady Cards, it also simply brings them closer and shrinks the class gap. A lot of times, upperclassmen aren’t that close with underclassmen on teams. By having the big/little sister program, it brings everyone closer and builds team chemistry.
“It (the big/little sister program) brought a better vibe to the team and helped us do well on and off the court,” senior Lindsay Freije said.
The closeness and comfort that the big sisters bring to their little sisters is what separates the girls from being just average teammates.
“You have them to go to if you need somebody rather than them just being a teammate,”
sophomore Ashley Raisor said.
Raisor says and herself and her big sister, senior Emma DeHart, have gotten very close over time.
“I’ve gotten really close to her because she’s always there when I need her,” Raisor said.
Raisor and DeHart have a lot of memories together but Raisor says that her favorite memory with her big sister is when the two went on vacation to Gulf Shores, Fla.
Big sisters also have to have responsibility for their little sisters.
“With being a big sister you have responsibilities for younger people and are held accountable for always doing the right thing because you know you have people looking up to you,” DeHart said. “You just always know as an underclassman that you have an upperclassman there for you.”
According to DeHart, big sisters have to sit with their little sisters at team dinners, on bus rides to away games and just have to help out and be there for them.
This season was head coach Bart Collins’ first year here at SHS so it was up to the older girls on the team to keep the program going.
“Really what I asked them to do was to just lead the whole thing…” Collins said “to set it up, to show some leadership in it and they took the whole thing over.”
Collins said he thinks everybody benefited from the program this year, especially the younger players on the team.
“Our younger girls really got up to speed quickly, the freshmen had a terrific season and I think a lot of it is because they got into the culture of basketball…” Collins said.
With seniors leaving, it will leave some of the girls sisterless (until next season.)