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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Going through the hoops: A high school basketball journey

Senior Jonco Holgado has loved basketball from a young age, a passion that has carried over into high school sports. With his hard work and dedication, he has worked his way to becoming captain of the boys basketball team.
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THE MIRROR | MICHAEL ARREDONDO
Senior Jonco Holgado (in white) is the current captain of the boys basketball team. He has faced many challenges on the road to success, including harsh coaches and constant pressure to succeed for the team.

After practice, as sweat drizzled down his face, it occurred to senior Jonco Holgado that this would be his fourth and final season of high school basketball.

When he was five years old, Holgado was introduced to a new hobby by his parents: basketball. What he didn’t know at the time was that he would later turn this hobby into a lifestyle throughout his four years of high school.

It all started when his parents would watch their favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, play on TV. Holgado would glimpse at the games, gradually embracing and cherishing the sport as a part of his identity. 

“Ever since my parents introduced me to this sport, I noticed that I was becoming more fond of it,” Holgado said.

As he grew older, he realized more and more that this was the sport he wanted to pursue.

When he was in seventh grade, he was a part of an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team that was top 25 in the state and won multiple player of the game awards. Hearing this, Coach Jefferey Johnston and Coach Evan Porter, the head coaches for varsity basketball at Van Nuys High School at the time, let him practice with the team. By doing so, he secured his spot on the team for when he was old enough to play high school ball.

His first three years have been a rollercoaster ride mentally and physically. During his freshman and sophomore years, he spent very little time playing since the team was made up of seniors who had a better understanding of the game than he did. Last season, he became the co-captain, which was a big jump from a bench player who rarely played. This meant that he had to train harder on and off the court. 

This year, he has been selected to be the captain of the team.

“Throughout my years, there have been many drastic changes in my roles, from only focusing on one little thing to becoming captain and focusing on many things,” Holgado said. “However, my mindset has developed throughout the years, and I am up for any challenges that come my way.”

Like any sports captain, he had a number of obstacles to overcome. Knowing his teammates had a lot of potential, he didn’t want to let them down. There were times where he and his teammates disagreed with the coach’s ideals, but ended up submitting to them, which would usually result in people wanting to quit the team. However, he knew that listening to the coach was for the better, and decided to continue taking part in the sport.

There were times where playing has felt like an occupation instead of a sport when my coaches would yell and discipline me which was a huge mental battle I faced, but I knew this was going to benefit me in the end,” said Jonco Holgado.

Being a part of this sport for four years has contributed many assets to his life. Basketball has boosted his confidence, allowed him to meet some of his closest friends and made him feel better about his health and who he is as a person.

Playing this sport has taught Holgado valuable lessons which he will carry on after high school. He had to go through a lot of adversity, and his response to that reveals a lot about who he is off the court. Playing a sport for a long time will challenge your mentality, because it will push you past your limits and make you want to quit.

“I decided not to quit because I knew that overcoming these mental battles would benefit me in the future,” Holgado said. “Staying emotionally stable is the biggest part of playing any sport. You can be great at any sport you love if you really devote your time and effort to it.”

With this being his last ever season of high school basketball, he is hoping to make it to the city finals to win his first ring from a championship, and is working very hard every day to reach his goal.

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About the Contributor
Jaden Gervacio
From watching sports to playing them, I have always been inclined to write about the new athletic events that occur at our school. As a sophomore at Van Nuys High, I am going into my second year of journalism, not just to write about the games, but to uncover the background and details of the talented athletes that play them. Whenever I’m not on my laptop typing about an athlete or game, I am trying to perfect leche flan.
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