Clarke Central High School senior varsity basketball players Aaliyah Hall, Jayla Barnett and Isis Hutchens (left to right) sit in the New Gym during practice on Nov. 30. Hall, Barnett and Hutchens have been playing together since 2012. “We have been playing with each other since sixth grade. We played for this girls and boys program in Athens called Georgia Jazz and that’s when I met them,” Hutchens said.
After playing together for six years, Clarke Central High School seniors Aaliyah Hall, Jayla Barnett and Isis Hutchens will play in their final season as Lady Gladiators.
The ball slams the floor as a loud screech escapes from under the basketball shoes sliding across the shiny hardwood court. The loud buzzer goes off, declaring the Georgia Jazz 2012 sixth grade girls travelball team U.S. Amateur Basketball National Champions.
Clarke Central High School seniors Aaliyah Hall, Jayla Barnett and Isis Hutchens were on that team.
After what will be seven years of friendship, the girls are playing in their last season as CCHS Lady Gladiators.
Through those seven years, they have been split up as each attended different middle schools and played on a different teams.
Though they were competitors on the court, that didn’t break the bond that existed between them.
Each girl brings a unique quality to the court.
Hall breaths life into the Lady Gladiators offense. She has the flick of the wrist that makes heads turn and nets snap when the ball hits bottom.
Barnett has the hand quickness that can swipe a ball faster than one can dribble. She will make any offensive player pay.
The balance between the two lies in Hutchens. She has potential on both sides of the ball. Hutchens is in between being a great player offensively and a great player defensively.
The three have a large role to play in their final season as Lady Gladiators, each one of them hoping to be a leader for their team.
“We are just trying to make sure we each have a great senior year and that we do lead and lead the team in a great way and make sure we are stepping up and speaking up and showing good examples of a how a leader is supposed to be on the court and off the court,” Hutchens said.
When the ball hits the floor for the last time and the last game of the season is played, the girls will part ways, but the friendship they made on the court is a friendship that will last a lifetime.