Home Sports ‘Grow the Game’ gains momentum, adds teams, and champions women in hoops with ‘We’re Here Too’ initiative

‘Grow the Game’ gains momentum, adds teams, and champions women in hoops with ‘We’re Here Too’ initiative

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‘Grow the Game’ gains momentum, adds teams, and champions women in hoops with ‘We’re Here Too’ initiative

Recent Trier senior basketball standout Sela Klein knows it’s reality, but she doesn’t need to like empty bleachers, especially after they aren’t that way for for boys games.

Even when the 2 Trevians teams play on the identical night at the identical place — like their semi-annual rivalry nights with Evanston – Klein can’t help but sneer at the group disparity.

“No one shows as much as our games until the fourth quarter, and it sucks,” Klein said in regards to the Evanston doubleheaders.

The atmosphere was different on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 5-6, when Klein and the Trevians competed within the fourth annual Grow the Game Showcase, a women-centered event that continues to achieve participants and fans.

Co-founded by Recent Trier coach Teri Rodgers, Grow the Game welcomed 43 women-coached teams — its most yet and up from 34 in 2023, 29 in ’22 and 14 in its inaugural yr — for 3 days value of exciting, shootout-style matchups at gyms in multiple suburbs. The games are coached by women, officiated by women and played by young women.

Klein spoke on the importance of the event and equity in basketball following her team’s first game, a 62-42 loss to host Glenbard West on Friday.

“Tonight, the energy was amazing. Looking around, this was probably probably the most packed (gym) I’ve had in a extremely very long time,” she said. ” … I believe that’s what this (event) is for. We do it too. We’re here too. We’re good at it; come watch and see. I respect my coach a lot for creating this. We love coming to this.”

And Rodgers, who calls Grow the Game a highlight in her hall-of-fame profession, loves bringing her Trevians to the ever evolving event she helped start.

Not only did Grow the Game have a record variety of participants, but additionally they got here from 4 different states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. And for the primary time, three teams normally coached by men joined the sector and were led by their female assistant coaches during event games.

Rodgers said the founders — Kristi Faulkner, of Glenbard West; Ashley Luke-Clanton, formerly of Mother McAuley; and Cara Doyle, of St. Ignatius — share the leadership for the event and rotate the venues annually.

Glenbard West, Glenbard East, Downers Grove South and Stevenson hosted games this time around and thru player of the sport awards, special gear, inspirational decor and more, they championed Grow the Game’s mission of empowering and celebrating women in basketball.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “We began with 14 teams and now 43, and it’s been a extremely, really wonderful event with great people. Yea, it’s awesome.”

The Trevians had a troublesome begin to this yr’s Grow the Game experience, failing to attain in the primary quarter of its opener versus the Hilltoppers. But Recent Trier bounced back with a 25-point second quarter to trail by just 4 at halftime.

Glenbard West responded to start out the second half, nevertheless, and the Trevians couldn’t recuperate. Erin Floyd led the Trevians with 11 points and was Recent Trier’s player of the sport, while Klein chipped in 8 and Reese Leahy 5 with 8 rebounds.

Recent Trier was coming off a formidable third-place finish on the Komaromy Classic over winter break. After a number of days off, the Trevians returned to motion Friday and were rusty.

“We got to be higher at stopping the bleeding,” Rodgers said. “We did that within the second quarter but then it happened again within the third. It starts on the defensive end. Once we’re not playing good defense, things don’t go well for us on the offensive end. It’s only a snowball.”

With a fast turnaround, though, Recent Trier got back on the fitting track Saturday with Klein putting on a show for the energized crowd at Hinsdale Central.

Klein racked up 29 points because the Trevians downed the host Red Devils 63-57. Anna Rivera addd 10 points; Leahy 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks; and KJ Sacarro 4 points and seven assists.

The victory pushes Recent Trier to 11-8 on the midway point of the season and are back on the ground Tuesday, Jan. 9, with a house matchup against Glenbrook North.

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