A girls’ basketball team is making history and inspiring kids and adults by showing them anything is possible.
With only five players on the team, the girl’s at Most Holy Trinity had a choice to give up on the season. But instead, every player played all of every game and with some heart and determination you’ll be shocked at what they were able to accomplish.
They’re small but mighty. The 5th and 6th grade girls’ basketball team from Most Holy Trinity School in Corktown had just enough players to put on the court.
“The best part of the season was people’s faces when they said oh they’re not gonna win, there’s five of them, 15 of us,” 10-year-old Olivia Torres said. “When we won they would look at us with so much shock it was the greatest part.”
Olivia along with 10-year-old teammate Aniah Thomas, 11-year-olds Julianna Izzard and Kayla Roach and 12-year-old Nasya Davis learned early on that if they were going to do this, they had to take teamwork and dedication to the next level.
“We worked as a team and we passed to each other and we always had each other’s back and we always tried to win even if we got hurt we still played,” Aniah said.
Even the janitor at most holy trinity would fill in to help the girls at practice, motivated by three coaches who believed in these girls from the start.
“Early in the season it was really hard to get them to buy into the fact they could do it, but after a couple of games we had won it was like a snowball effect,” Coach Donald Thomas said. “The ball just got bigger and bigger, the stands got bigger and bigger and bigger, more support came from everybody.”
And all the hard work paid off.
“We won 8 out of 10 of our actual games and we went into the championship,” Julianna said. “And we got second place in the tournament.”
Second place of all the schools throughout metro Detroit in the Catholic League- most with two or three times as many players. But, the girls say that didn’t matter because they always knew they could count on each other.
“We all had our own unique set of skills we’re really good at and most teams players- they like to keep the ball to themselves and showoff but we didn’t mind passing to each other and helping each other out,” Olivia said.
Dubbed the ‘Fantastic Five,’ each girl is on the honor roll and the pride and joy of Most Holy Trinity, one of only four Catholic grade schools left in the City of Detroit. Athletic Director Victor Venegas says in his nearly 60 year career at Most Holy Trinity, this is the highlight.
“This is my 57th year here and I’ve been involved on the World Series, I’ve been involved in the Stanley Cup and this is like winning the state championship, we hit a home run with these girls,” he said. “They’re an inspiration to the rest of the school. We’re known as a small school in Corktown, but now this will bring more life to the area.”
The girls had their rituals.
“I had bacon, biscuits and pizza for breakfast,” Kayla said. “I usually like to always be different and wear different color stretch pants,” Aniah said.
They also had some flaws.
“Attitudes,” Coach Roderick Thomas said. “Sometimes they weren’t trying to hear it, we’d coach them, they’d do their own thing and we just stepped back and let them do it.”
But together, they’re making history and serving up lessons most adults could learn from.
“People can take something small and still make it big,” Olivia said.
Congratulations to the Fantastic Five and the athletic program at Most Holy Trinity!