MESA, AZ — When a Mesa girls’ basketball team dissolved due to COVID concerns, two of the girls found a way to stay on the court and play the game they love.
Mia and Jenna Robert, a junior and sophomore at Sequoia Charter in Mesa, have been playing basketball together for years. But this is the first time they're both playing on a boys' team.
"Everything's a lot faster and you get a lot harder and more powerful passes and you just have to be ready for anything," said Jenna.
Last year, the school's girls' team started to dwindle due to COVID. Some family members got sick, some had to quarantine, and other families decided to keep their kids at home. By January, Mia and Jenna were the only two left.
"I was really disappointed, this is supposed to be a really big year for me as far as playing," said Mia.
They had started practicing and training with the boys' team over the summer. After winter break, they officially joined the team.
"Once we actually joined, it was more of a family atmosphere, we just started communicating more, it's been good," said Mia.
They said the team welcomed them like sisters, and though it's been a change, they've been up for the challenge.
"You really just have to have more confidence and control of the ball, otherwise the other team will take advantage of you and they'll be like, 'I'm not going to let another girl score on me' so you just have to have a good mindset for it," said Mia.
"It's definitely a lot faster and you have to be really tough to compete, especially down the block with them because you're going to get pushed around, and you're going to fall, you just have to be ready for anything," said Jenna.
Athletic Director Robb Floco says the two guards have been a great addition to the team.
"They've transitioned easily, it's a true testament to their work ethic. They are both well-rounded young ladies. They're student-athletes, they're excelling in the classroom and we're just excited they're a part of the Sequoia family," he said.
The sisters will continue to work on their strength and speed and hope to bring those assets to the girls' team next year.
"I do hope there's a girls' team next year because we will definitely be ready and a lot faster...But I will take what I can get," said Jenna.
The Stallions take on North Phoenix Thursday at home. Mia and Jenna both hope to play.