Senior Alyvia Briscoe plays three sports for the Trojans at Pahrump Valley High School, soccer, basketball and softball, lettering varsity in all three sports, but her favorite sport is basketball. Nowadays she practically lives on the basketball court.
“I love the team dynamic of basketball because you play both offense and defense,” Briscoe said. “It’s also a fast-paced sport.”
She feels it is faster than soccer, a sport she plays in the fall.
“There are times in soccer where I am just standing because I play defense and the ball is on the other side of the field,” she said.
Briscoe said that basketball was the family sport and that’s how she got into it.
“My grandpa got me into the sport,” she said. “I have spent my summers in the gym trying to get better, always practicing my shooting. I watched my grandpa coach when he took the team to state. I grew up watching him coach these amazing teams and was disappointed that he stopped coaching basketball. It was my dream to have him coach me. I have always wanted him to be my coach.”
Her grandfather is Bob Hopkins, the head girls basketball coach at Pahrump Valley High School.
Now that he is coaching her, Briscoe said she has no problem separating basketball from her personal life with him.
“Of course he is not intense off the court,” she said. “He is not always yelling. On the court, he may yell at us but he tells us what we are doing wrong and he yells for a reason. He wants what’s best for the team. We all like him. The intensity comes with having a good coach and it’s awesome we are winning.”
Briscoe is excited about this year’s team and has spent hours at the open gym this summer improving her game. The team may have lost nine seniors last year but she has confidence in the new players coming up.
“I am confident we will make the playoffs again this year,” she said. “The players are coming to the gym and we want to win just as much as last year. We have had a lot of time to bond. The new players have been with us since last season and many of them practiced with the varsity team last year.”
The work that Briscoe has done over the summer has paid off, especially on defense.
“I think it (defense) has improved a lot,” Briscoe said. “I have been guarding a college player this summer.” She credited a college basketball player, Kevin McKay, with helping her “a lot” with defense.
Briscoe’s own grandfather noticed the changes over the summer.
“Alyvia has improved her game a lot,” Hopkins said.
Trojans assistant coach Brittany Wagner said she noticed a lot of changes too.
“She is doing moves that she hasn’t done before,” the coach said. “I am hoping we will see that in a game and I hope she drives to the hole a lot more. She is shooting more and her defense has been a lot better and there is more confidence.”
Briscoe’s favorite part of the game is to lead a player, and to pass to them, letting them shoot. She hopes to tweak that this year so that she is shooting more.
She finds shooting challenging.
“Last year I didn’t shoot as much but this year I have more confidence,” she said.
“I love the way she shoots the ball,” Wagner said. “I like the way Alyvia came to open gym every day at the high school this summer.”
Briscoe wants to continue playing basketball in college, but wants to attend the University of Nevada, Reno to study chemical engineering and is not sure about playing for a Division 1 school.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com