Athlete of the Month: Joanna Schroeder

Claire Kuwana, Sentry Staff Reporter

Ever since third grade, senior Joanna Schroeder has shined both on and off the basketball court. She is the kind of girl everyone wants to befriendkind, supportive and enthusiastic. Despite being only 5’7, Schroeder plays forward, helping lead the girls’ varsity basketball team to defeat both Thomas Jefferson and Westfield this season.

Q: Why did you start playing basketball?

A: Well, I was in about third grade when I started playing basketball. My family is a really sporty family–my dad was my first basketball coach. I guess I just really wanted to be on a team and play a sport with my friends.

Q: Do you play basketball outside of Yorktown?

A: I used to play basketball year-round. I played for Arlington Travel and different Matrix AAU teams but I don’t do that anymore. I do referee basketball outside of school–my favorite grades to referee are the seventh and eighth graders.

Q: Are you looking to continue playing basketball after high school?

A: I think I will play for fun, maybe on a club team or rec team. I really want to start coaching basketball after high school.

Q: What do you think is the main reason you have been so successful in this sport?

A: I think that I have a really positive attitude and I really just love the game so much. I have such an appreciation for it.

Q: Have you faced any big obstacles during your basketball career?

A: Last year, I got sick so many times during the season, it was ridiculous. I got food poisoning on the day before senior night. I still wanted to go to the game so bad–I told my coach “I did not get any sleep last night but I still came to school so I could play in the game if you wanted me to.” But he said,  “Jo, sit down, you’re done.” One important thing is to look to your teammates because they will support you no matter what, and they really have your back in those situations.

Q: What is your favorite part about being on the team?

A: Definitely being a part of this group of people. They are as close as your sisters. It’s amazing.

Q: As a senior, what sort of leadership roles do you fill?

A: I would say I am definitely a leader. It is important to communicate and be as loud as you can, especially like on the bench. We have a lot of underclassmen on the team this year, so it is important as a senior to reach out to the younger people.

Q: How do you balance basketball and school?

A: I feel like actually basketball helps me do better in school. When you have something you need to do every day it makes you manage your time better–it forces you to not procrastinate.

Q: What has playing basketball taught you about life outside sports?

A: It has taught me a lot about teamwork and leadership. During this season, we have been talking a lot about how in real life, people will not just hand you things. The same can be said for in a sports game. If you have the desire to win, that will show on the court. It’s really important to want it, because if you do not want it, someone else will take it from you.

Q: Do you have any advice for girls looking to play basketball here at Yorktown?

A: If it is something you love to do, do not be afraid to put yourself out there. The fact that you love it will show through.