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Trojan of the Month: Lafitaga has high hopes for basketball career

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By Paul Park
[email protected]
(Scott Alquisa | Na Manao Poina Ole) Guard Jazmina Lafitaga (12) goes for a layup against Farrington, scoring another point for her team and helping propel the season forward.

(Scott Alquisa | Na Manao Poina Ole) Guard Jazmina Lafitaga (12) goes for a layup against Farrington, scoring another point for her team and helping propel the season forward.

Having played basketball for many years, Guard Senior Jazmina Lafitaga continues forward in her basketball career. Since developing a passion for basketball since her childhood, Lafitaga is now looking to her future to play college basketball.

“I’m trying to look at my options to see what’s going to give me the best scholarship and I’m just going to play basketball as well as go to school and go to do my major,” said Lafitaga.

Lafitaga was encouraged to start playing volleyball at an early age by her father, but she felt didn’t feel a strong connection with the sport. She then gave basketball a try, and has been playing it since then. “Ever since I started playing basketball, I just developed a passion for it, and I knew that that was my sport,” said Lafitaga.

Though Lafitaga only joined the MHS basketball team this past year, she has already received multiple awards along the way. “I improved as a player over my years, and this year I’ve had a couple interviews, articles and a couple awards. I got the all-star team for the west and then, I’m in the running for the top 50 in all-state,” said Lafitaga.

Throughout the seasons, Lafitaga received much support from her friends and family who boosted her self-confidence throughout the years. “My family’s always been there for me throughout all my basketball seasons, and they always help me gain confidence when I play, their support means a lot,” said Lafitaga.

(Scott Alquisa | Na Manao Poina Ole) Defending against Farrington, Guard Jazmina Lafitaga (12) holds the team together, as a supportive leader on and off the courts.

(Scott Alquisa | Na Manao Poina Ole) Defending against Farrington, Guard Jazmina Lafitaga (12) holds the team together, as a supportive leader on and off the courts.

As well as receiving a lot of support from her friends, family and coaches, she also provides support back to them. “Becoming a team player and a leader at the same time, I think that’s the area that she grew the most,” said Patrick Basillo, the head coach for the girls basketball team. “Her biggest strength is being able to lead. We had a fairly young team this year, so as far as transitioning the younger players into varsity and making them feel comfortable, so I think that is probably her biggest strength.”

Lafitaga also takes the time to help her teammates and get to know them to increase their camaraderie. “She’s always a good friend, and always gets involved with everyone,” said Guard Senior Shantell Appleby. The most defining traits about her are her “determination” and “honesty”. These traits are important in a leader, showing just how much Lafitaga fits as a leader.

As of yet, Lafitaga has not chosen which college she plans to attend; however, she has high hopes that she will be approached by a scout in the near future.

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Trojan of the Month: Lafitaga has high hopes for basketball career