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Reading about Courtney Ekmark’s decision not to return to St. Mary’s to play basketball and attend the school for her senior year was disappointing.

With three state titles, a mythical national title and basketball scholarships in hand, Ekmark and her high school basketball family achieved what they sought when they arrived at St. Mary’s. Ekmark and her teammates earned the right to be celebrated as arguably the greatest basketball team in Arizona’s history for girls.

But the way Ekmark exited St. Mary’s shouldn't be lauded.

Ekmark believed there was nothing more left to accomplish, according to Monday’s story in the East Valley Tribune. But high school careers aren’t just measured by championships and accolades.

Learning valuable life lessons about leadership on a team where she’ll be the only star is something she’ll miss out on this year. Ekmark’s talented childhood basketball friends graduated last year.

But since she won’t attend St. Mary’s this year it also now seems like Ekmark graduated last year despite having a year of eligibility left and so much more to learn.

A good man

If Jim Gintonio had an ego, I never saw it during my tenure at The Arizona Republic.

Gintonio helped me feel right at home when I joined the paper thanks to his warm personality and talks we had about life. The 65-year-old veteran journalist passed away on Sunday.

I never did thank Gintonio for taking his time to talk to me, especially during my first years at The Republic. So I’m doing it now.

Thanks, Jim.

Schools selling tickets for Sollenberger Classic  

The four schools that will participate in next week’s Sollenberger Football Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas started selling tickets for the games on Monday.

Fans who want to purchase tickets this week can contact the schools, Phoenix Mountain Pointe High, Tucson Salpointe High, Nevada Liberty and Nevada Bishop Gorman. Ticket prices are $10.00 for high school students or younger and $5 for military, school personnel with ID, and 65 or older with ID.

Children under 6 can attend for free. The deadline to purchase pre-sale tickets is Thursday afternoon. 

New volleyball coach at Rancho Solano

 

Former professional and All-American volleyball player Emily Haas was named the new girls volleyball coach at Rancho Solano in.

Haas was an assistant coach at St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Austin, Texas last season.

“My commitment to developing young volleyball players in all aspects of the game is an exciting challenge that I take very seriously,” said Haas in a statement the school released.  “It is my goal to ensure that all of our players are carefully instructed to become complete volleyball players. Becoming a complete volleyball player is not limited to success on the court.  Outstanding performance in the classroom is a key part of the success of our program.”

 

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