Walking onto the court, stress consumes them. By their side, their very own blood walks with them, motivating them through every play by play while the time on the scoreboard disappears.
Throughout North’s years, sibling athletes have always been a part of the athletic program’s culture. Within both the girls and boys basketball teams, siblings have become dominant, each bringing their own identity to the court. Some passing down the responsibility of their previous successes, while others work together on the court trying to achieve a mutual goal.
“I used to feel pressured to be as good as Jamal, but during my freshman year, he told me on one of our late night talks that I’ll be better than him and that I could beat all of his records. Him saying that not only gave me courage, but it helped me realize that if he believes that I can do that then I should believe it too,” said sophomore Jamon Thomas.
After Jamal graduated last year, he left his basketball legacy for his brother to continue on through his years at North.
“They are similar in many ways, in terms of their ability to have fun but also work incredibly hard at the same time. My initial reaction to working with Jamon is that he is a little more reserved and serious, but after getting to know him much better this season, he has really started to open up,” said head coach Todd Grunloh.
Since Jamon was a freshman Jamal’s senior year, he was able to show Jamon the “ropes” of high school and how to truly excel within North’s atmosphere.
“It was cool being able to eat lunch with him and showing him the do’s and don’ts of high school. He matured so much just within his freshman year, and it was cool to see that process occur,” said Jamal Thomas.
Another sibling duo can be found on the girls basketball team.
“Savannah and I help each other out at practices and in the game to get better. We also have been playing together for a long time, so we just know the way each other plays. We fight sometimes, but mostly we are just hard on each other to help each other get better. We are also partners for everything in basketball, so we have to get over it whether we want to or not,” said senior Abbey Guenther.
With college approaching the seniors, the Guenther sisters discuss how both of their lives will be changed next year when one of them leaves for school.
“I will miss seeing her every day and talking to her about sports and school. We spend time together watching TV, going out to eat, or even going to the mall,” said junior Savannah Guenther.
Normal sibling dynamics are called into question when siblings have to share a sports team; however, some sibling duos have found a way to achieve their goals together.