The varsity girls’ basketball team, seeded #3 in the Pennsylvania State Independent Schools Athletics Association (PAISAA), won their first game in the Commonwealth Cup Championship against Agnew Irwin on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
The next game for the team at “States” is at home on Thursday, February 24 at 5:00 p.m. The team is up against #7 seed Mercersburg Academy who defeated #2 seeded Baldwin School in their first round.
Playing during the pandemic was challenging this year, but the team continued to grow and ended their season with a 10-9 record in the Friends Schools League. Their head coach is La’Keisha Sutton, a former professional basketball player and Harlem Globetrotter, who joined the George School Basketball Coaching Staff in 2020.
Catching up with La’Keisha before the start of the PAISAA games, we checked in with her about the team’s season.
How has your first year been as the team’s Head Coach?
“This was my first year as sole head coach for the team and it has been a memorable experience. With the pandemic easing, we got to play more than just the three games we played last year. Our goal this season was to build relationships with each player and set the tone of our values: being committed, caring for your teammates, and playing with discipline.”
“We have a great coaching staff, and everyone’s voice is equally valuable. We have done a great job collectively preparing our girls to find success on and off the court at George School.”
Please share a standout moment or two for you from this past season.
“A standout moment from the season was seeing girls show up for 6:00 a.m. open gym workouts and using their lunch break to lift weights and do some conditioning. None of this was mandatory, only recommended, and it was great to see them bring a commitment to the process.”
“I also think it’s great when any of our kids earn recognition from local media for their efforts and we’ve had Sophia Martinez ’24, Paiyton Penn ’22, and Priyanka Ponnam ’25 all recognized separately for their gameplay.”
What are some things you look for in a player?
“I look for players who are leaders and love to learn. I love players who want to get better, are competitive, disciplined, and play with toughness. I’m confident with the resources George School offers, we can help develop each team member’s skills. This season a bright spot for me has been Ava Gregorio ’25. I met her at tryouts and immediately knew she would be put in the starting lineup because she embodied the type of player I want to coach. She had a lot of intangibles and wanted to be coached.”
What are your thoughts moving forward into next season?
“My goal and vision as the head coach is to eventually catapult George School into the national spotlight. I believe we can do that more sooner than later with the support of our administrators, alumni, and our community.”
“We have the best facilities in the Friends Schools League (FSL). They can attract families from all over the East Coast on campus. I imagine offering summer leagues, fall leagues, holiday tournaments, college showcases, and more. These can all add value to George School scholar athletes.”
“Moving forward into next season I want to have more depth on our roster like Westtown does. I want our team to compete in preseason tournaments and fall leagues. We should have as many competitive games scheduled as possible and put ourselves in a position to compete for both FSL and PAISAA championships.”
“George School is an easy favorite over most independent schools because of our academic curriculum and diversity. Our players take both their education and sport seriously like me. They are true scholar athletes and they want to play in front of fans and college coaches. They want exposure and support from our community.”
Two of last year’s team members are playing at the college level—Alexis Semidey-Martinez ’21 at Colby college and Kaliyah Myricks ’21 at Georgetown. How are they doing?
“Alexis is doing well; her team is going to the playoffs for the first time in years. Kaliyah is also enjoying being at Georgetown, especially with WNBA player Sugar Rodgers as one of her newest coaches.”
“Both of them have reached out and showed support for our team and I look forward to welcoming them back home to George School during their off-season to work out with the girls and continue to use all the resources George School has to offer.”
Any follow-up comments?
“I want to take a moment to recognize our varsity boys’ basketball team. I am proud of what Coach Ben Luber, his staff, and our boys’ team have accomplished this year. I watched them all year get in the gym together and get better. They are exciting to watch, they share the ball, play hard, and they deserve all the recognition they are getting. I know they will win a championship for George School soon. I hope we both do!”
Read more about La’Keisha’s career before arriving at George School.
You can stay up to date with both teams, and all George School Athletics, by following @gs_athletics on Twitter and Instagram, or find up-to-date scores online here.