Leaders of basketball: Alyssa Cadavona and Lauren Lum
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As the basketball whirls through the air and slams into the net, co-captains and seniors Alyssa Cadavona and Lauren Lum give each other a joyous high-five to celebrate their well-deserved goal. As captains of the varsity girls basketball team, they support their team through thick and thin.
For Cadavona and Lum, their love for basketball started long before they entered the team. Lum started playing at the age of five at the Orange Coast Optimist Club (OCO) while Cadavona started basketball in fifth grade at the Irvine Youth Basketball League (IYBL). Both found themselves falling in love with basketball, inciting their pursuit of the high school team.
“I love the adrenaline rush you get when you play sports and the feeling of being part of a team,” Lum said. “I was really excited to join the high school team because basketball was my favorite sport and I had friends who were on the team already.”
Both captains have an incredible work ethic and are role models for the rest of the team. Girls basketball coach Keith Clarkson noted their leadership skills.
“When your teammates see what [the captains are] doing, they do the same thing,” Clarkson said. “So if you don’t set a good example for them, [the team] is not going to listen to you.”
These two captains work in harmony, complementing each other with their different methods of leadership.
“Lauren Lum has been a four year varsity player, so Lauren’s strength is her experience, not just playing varsity, but her experience with the program,” Clarkson said. “Alyssa Cadavona is more of an outgoing and vocal type of a leader and they work well together.”
While the co-captains are seemingly invincible, they too have encountered challenges along their basketball journey. Suffering a knee injury her freshman year, Lum sat out for part of the season, and Cadavona’s ligament injury forced her to sit out for the main season last year. However, these injuries have shaped them into the players they are today.
“Although I was out for six months, I was still able to keep a positive attitude and relentlessly supported my team, even though I couldn’t contribute on the court. My positive attitude and respect I gained from my teammates led me to be chosen as captain on the team,” Cadavona said.
While they may be facing their last moments of their basketball career in high school, both will never forget the many memories and friends they made with the team.
“My teammates are my second family, and we never fail to support each other on and off the court. From the team lunches, to the practices, to the most memorable games, to the games we’d all like to forget, to the memories on the bus or traveling — one simply has a unique experience being involved in this basketball program,” Cadavona said.