FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Jessica Vinsko South Putnam
Jessica Vinsko is the only senior member of the South Putnam girls’ basketball team. She has shown great improvement since last year, according to coach Brian Gardner. She admits improving a lot in one specific area that cannot be found on the post-game stat sheet.
Banner Graphic: Is it strange to be the only senior on the basketball team?
Jessica Vinsko: “It’s fun. I get to lead the other players. Lillie [Stein] and Miranda [Bieghler] help me a bunch.”
BG: Coach Gardner has talked about your improvement since last year. What led to that?
JV: “I really had to step up and work on my attitude. I had to realize I’m not going to get anywhere with a bad attitude. I had to lose it and work harder. My mind is a lot better, and I stepped up after that. I’m pretty good with defense and shooting.”
BG: What do you think about the team this year?
JV: “We’re going to be pretty good.”
BG: How long have you played basketball?
JV: “I started playing in second grade. I played in school all the way through ninth grade, didn’t play my sophomore year, then I started playing again last year.”
BG: What do you like best about basketball?
JV: “The fun times we have together, and winning (of course).”
BG: What is something that basketball can teach you as a person?
JV: “Friendship, overcoming problems and never giving up.”
BG: What are your favorite subjects in school?
JV: “I’m in the ICE program, so I only come here in the mornings. I have advanced PE, novels and study hall. I take some other classes online (government and economics).”
BG: What other things do you do besides sports?
JV: “I work at Big Bounce Funhouse Rentals. It’s fun. I painted zombie faces for a restaurant for Halloween. I like to watch ‘The Walking Dead’ on TV, since it just came back on.”
BG: Do you have any pets?
JV: “I have a dog, named Joey. He’s half German shepherd and half beagle.
BG: Are you a good student?
JV: “I’d like to say that all my teachers love me. I don’t consider myself a teacher’s pet.”
BG: Have any teachers or classes really inspired you to get where you are?
JV: Mr. Tennis, my 11th grade English teacher, had a very good class. It was fun.”
BG: What are your plans after high school?
JV: “I want to join the service. I haven’t decided, between the Army and the National Guard. I think I want to do active duty. I’m waiting until after basketball season to get signed up. I’m looking forward to it.”