Welcome Celeste Ndayishima, new girls basketball team captain!

Inspired by NBA great Kobe Bryant, CVHS senior Celeste Ndayishima and captain of the girl’s basketball club is leading the club at CVHS two years ago to give students a chance to play on campus.

“The NBA player that inspired me was Kobe Bryant because he was very active in it. And then when his death came, that really touched me. I just wanted to play basketball more because I was like, ‘this is something that you know inspired him at a young age, and he actually grew up with.’ And because of his passing, I felt like he met his goal, which was to do basketball and pass it on to his children. So I feel like that goal also came to me. I want to get more involved in it,” said Ndayishima.

Ndayishima’s basketball journey all started when she realized that she could join basketball due to her height and her interests in the sport.

“Actually, I’ve really loved basketball, because of my height, I feel like I would be a good teammate on the basketball team. So when I heard that Carnegie was starting with girls basketball, I think it was in my sophomore year, 10th grade, I joined it. I wanted to learn more about basketball because I haven’t really played basketball, but I’ve watched the games and know how things are as an MP when they were making those participate in them. That’s when I participated in things that have to do with basketball.”

Ndayishima’s journey continues in high school by being co-captain of the CVHS girls’ basketball team for the past two years.

“I was really excited when the previous captain gave me the position because I could finally use this opportunity to use my leadership skills from other activities,” said Ndayishima. 

Ndayishima has done previous activities that shaped her into the independent co-captain that she is today. Moreover, she has learned how to channel her inclusivity through her past ethnic insecurities. 

“If a team member feels like they can’t do it anymore just because they’re on a beginner’s level, I’ll tell them with practice and learning, you’ll be able to achieve being a good basketball player,” said Ndayishima. 

Although the public sees the basketball games as a way of entertainment, Ndayishima preferably views this as a way for students to engage with each other and see it as a collaborative space.

“Some things I like about basketball. I like that basketball is not only about playing but also, you meet new people, you build a family, because when you work in sports, you have to get along with one another and, you know, be good practice with one another. So, someone you’re on the floor with, that means you have a higher chance of doing good,” says Ndayishima.

Ndayishima cites how the team looks out for one another, including making sure everyone stays on top of their academic work.

“Thanks to my manager. She actually looked into that. That’s why she chose to do practice on Mondays and Fridays, and usually, when some of us members need to do things after school, we will take that into consideration. We don’t want to be very harsh because we understand. We were also once freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Now we’re seniors. The whole cabinet is seniors, so we understand where they’re coming from.”

Ndayishima hopes for the girls’ basketball team to do well, succeed across time, and spread positivity instead of negativity.

“I’m really excited for what I actually prepared things for the Carnegie basketball team. And I want us to do well. I’m also looking for things we can do for our team to help it grow and hope they get the funds they need. And with my attitude and motivation towards it. That will be a positive, a positive addition towards the team, and not to bring negativity to it because if you bring negativity to a certain environment or a certain group, it will bring it down. I feel like my uplifting spirit would actually build it up.”