Springfield Central girl’s basketball embark on new season after winning state championship

The Springfield Central High School girl’s basketball team is coming off winning a state championship last season.
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 12:34 AM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Springfield Central High School girl’s basketball team is coming off winning a state championship last season.

“If you don’t make deposits, you can’t make withdrawals,” said Springfield Central girl’s basketball coach James Gee.

Gee told Western Mass News their success starts in the gym.

“I always tell the girls, if you practice hard, everything happens organically in the game,” Gee added.

Gee has over 10 years of coaching experience. Last year was his first as head coach and the team won states under his leadership. He told us their returning players give them an edge.

“Since they did it once, they know what they have to do it again. They need to bring their best selves every day on and off the court,” Gee noted.

The girl's Golden Eagles from Springfield Central High took on Sacred Heart Academy from Connecticut in the Hoophall Classic

Springfield Central senior, and Division I St. John’s commit, Julie Bahathi, told us what they need to do to continue their dominance across the state.

“Last year, we won because of our defense. Defense wins championships and that is what we are working on this season,” Bahathi said.

The team’s success is garnering national recognition. They are playing in the Hoophall Classic, which features teams across the country and some of the best players in the world.

“We want to be able to measure ourselves against the best competition out there and compete against the best,” Bahathi added.

The team was invited to newly elected Governor Maura Healy’s inauguration, who is the first female elected and openly gay governor in the state. They said they were honored to be a part of history.

“We have members of our community that can relate and now it feels like they have a platform, a foundation, and a role model they can hopefully look up to,” Gee explained.

“That recognition felt special to us as a team and we had a really good time there,” Bahathi said.

Win or lose, the players say they have a bond that will last longer after the last whistle blows.

“I am going to miss the environment. We feel like one big family. It’s never awkward between us. We hang out outside of school, we text and a lot, the community I’m going to miss as well,” said Springfield Central senior Jordyn Robinson.

Senior night for the Golden Eagles is on January 30.