Who Scored 2,000 Points?!
By Edward Kasule
Alina Yamin, Adv. 902, star senior guard on the Northside Mustangs’ Women’s Basketball team, has been a force to reckon with ever since she came to Northside. Her play style is very balanced; she can handle the ball, score inside and out, and her defense is not bad. Her court vision is good, but she does not have a lot of pieces, as many members of the team have suffered from injuries. Therefore, Yamin, has been forced to take matters into her own hands. This means playing multiple games where she was forced to put the squad on her back -- and she did not shy away from the task.
She recently reached a milestone that only one Northside alumni had reached; scoring 2,000 points in her high school career. In 2005, Robert Eschmann scored 2,000 points as well, and Yamin has been the only player to attain this achievement since then. What makes her such an elite athlete?
I interviewed Yamin to find out how her upbringing affected her basketball abilities. “Basketball has influenced my life in many ways,” said Yamin. “I have been playing competitively since fifth grade and it has been the center of my life since then. I have had countless practices, games, and tournaments that have controlled how I spend my time. It has also allowed me to meet a lot of people and create some of my closest friendships.”
When asked how she has grown as a player, Yamin said that “I have grown as a player in many ways. I think the most significant way is that I have grown more confident and calm while playing. As a freshman and sophomore, I would get really upset if I had a weak quarter or half, and I would let that control the rest of the game. Now, I realize that one bad quarter doesn't have to affect the whole game, and it definitely won't affect my season as a whole.” As aforementioned, Yamin had to be a leader for her team, more than ever this season because of chronic injuries that had two starters sitting out. “Our team has gotten much more comfortable playing with each other,” said Yamin. “Unfortunately, we lost two of our starters during the season, so that was definitely a major setback, but we adjusted pretty well.”
I asked Yamin about some of her favorite basketball players. “My top 10 players that are currently in the league are LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, and Giannis.” She added, “Besides LeBron; LeBron is the best player in the NBA.”
Her parents have been a big part of her basketball journey. She has played AAU basketball since she was in the fifth grade, and her dad has always been by her side. He has made an appearance at all of Yamin’s high school games, standing on the bleachers with his camera and recording each game. “Both of my parents have always supported me 100% with basketball,” said Yamin. Although she will not play collegiate basketball in college, she does plan to continue playing club basketball.