Kuyper takes new role in senior season
By Sam Walker, Reporter
As the buzzer sounds, senior Lola Kuyper walks off the court to greet teammates, coaches, and parents for the last time. Her final home game was nothing short of spectacular, with a 22 point performance by Kuyper in front of an electric student section. As her highschool basketball career comes to a close, those around her look back and reflect on her impact on the VHS girls team and those around her.
Many students play sports in high school, but few are as involved in their sports community as Kuyper.
“When I was four my parents started me in VIJB (Vashon Island Junior Basketball) because my sister played and her team needed another player, and I’ve played every year since,” she said.
Since that moment, she has been a frequent face representing Vashon basketball, from playing to refereeing to coaching; she has done it all.
This year in her senior season, Kuyper moved to a new role of leadership. In the past she has been a key team player on upperclassmen heavy teams. But as the team’s sole senior, she knew this year’s goals were different from the past.
“As the only senior on the team I try to focus on teaching and helping others learn the game I love,” Kuyper said.
This love of the game doesn’t go unnoticed. Kuyper’s teammates have noticed her leadership skills and passion for the game as well.
“I just think she’s a really good leader overall, she’s not afraid to talk to you and tell you what you need to work on,” freshman teammate Maddie Youman said. “She wants you to get better, so she’s really constructive and that’s what I really like about her,” Youman said.
Some of her favorite memories from this year come from being able to see change and feel good about the team’s progress.
“I have really enjoyed seeing each player grow and become more confident in their abilities after each practice,” Kuyper said.
It was not only players who recognized her leadership and poise this season.
“She has been a true athlete and competitor since day one,” assistant coach Lui Gue said. “For three years I have watched her battle adversity that many could not endure and her strength is what I love most about her.”
As Kuyper’s senior season comes to a close, teammates and fans will remember watching her take the court these past four years but her impact on the islands programs will be felt for years to come.