Jamari Widemon, a junior on the Berkeley High School varsity boys basketball team, first picked up a basketball when he was only eight years old, and has been a talented forward since. For Widemon, basketball is an outlet for when things are challenging in his personal life, and has helped him through the losses of people close to him. Basketball is therapeutic for him because he “only has one focus” on the court. When Widemon is having a bad day, he turns to basketball to relax or calm down. He described the comfort in “hearing that swish or bouncing of the ball.” These sounds distract him from what’s going on inside his head. Because of his love for the sport, Widemon tries to find time to play whenever he is able to and usually plays five to seven days a week.
Nia Adeborna is a sophomore and a striker on the Berkeley High School JV girls soccer team. “My dad is really passionate about soccer, so he’s the one who really got me into it,” Adeborna said. During COVID-19, Adeborna had a hard time finding motivation to continue playing soccer. She wanted to be with friends more and she“felt lonely while playing soccer.” When she got to BHS, she decided to go out for the high school team and found it a lot easier to build a community. It was much easier to “make connections with (her BHS teammates) and become friends with them than it was with kids on your club team that go to different schools,” Adeborna said.
Becca Cardiello is a senior on the Berkeley High School lacrosse team. Cardiello moved to Berkeley from New Jersey at the start of ninth grade and started playing lacrosse at BHS that year. Cardiello has had a complicated relationship with her sport, but she ultimately stuck with it, due to the community she’s become a part of and the satisfaction of accomplishing personal and team goals. She noted that, “Lacrosse is a very white sport. … Being in high school and playing other schools that are … more predominantly white than Berkeley has just really been interesting.” However, Cardiello holds the important role of keeping the energy of the team positive. “If we have a good attitude, we can have a good practice. … Attitude is everything,” she said. Cardiello also enjoys the feeling of achieving success after working hard during difficult practices and “knowing that we were able to execute something to the best of our ability and it ended in a positive way.”