Basketball alum returns to bond, lead team

Annabelle Todtenhausen, Journalism 1 reporter

The new season is coming up fast for basketball with tryouts just three weeks away.

Athletes interested have been training since Monday, Sept. 13, and only have two weeks left to prepare for try outs on Monday, Nov 1.

“Preseason has been pretty hard and exhausting but meeting new people makes it way more enjoyable,” freshman Delaney Harbrucker said.

The athletes have been running and conditioning on the track as well as scrimmages on the days they’re not conditioning.

Junior Sophie Depetre said, “It has been a great time to bond with my teammates as well as getting better at basketball and sometimes that means doing the not-so-fun stuff like conditioning.”

Oak Park welcomed back alumnus Joe McKinstry as the new head coach for women’s basketball. McKinstry coached for KCKCC and led the Blue Devils to two national championships.

“When I saw the opportunity, I wanted to take on a new challenge and make a difference, as well as going back to my roots at Oak Park,” McKinstry said.

McKinstry is already making a difference before the season has even begun.

“He holds us to high standards and really appreciates and notices when we are working hard. He is great at encouraging us. I feel he really tries hard to build a bond with each player,” Depetre said

Having a good bond benefits women’s basketball.

“Getting to know your teammates on a personal level and really building that trust helps a lot with your confidence because you know that your teammates have your back and support no matter what,” Depetre said.

Players and the OP family are very excited for this season with McKinstry.

“I’m not used to starting this late in the season so I’m anxious but still very excited,” McKinstry said.