Junior Anna Fluetsch warms up before a game at the Western Sierra Tournament on Dec. 6. (Photo by Hermione Xian)

Junior captain sparks enthusiasm with leadership, determination

Junior small forward Anna Fluetsch was named the captain of the girls basketball team by coach Latonia Pitts on Nov. 22. The second captain, freshman point guard Jada Grey, was chosen by the team. 

Pitts said she picked Fluetsch, who averaged 6.0 rebounds and 2.8 points per game last season, due to her seniority, leadership, skill, eagerness to “perfect her craft” and constantly work hard. 

Fluetsch said being named captain motivated her to keep working hard and encourages her teammates to do so as well. 

“I’m going to try my best and not let my team down!” Fluetsch said. 

Fluetsch has played basketball since kindergarten, when she was on a little dribblers team in Lodi. She then played club basketball starting in fifth grade before joining the high school team once she came to Country Day as a sophomore. 

“It’s the perfect place for me to let some of my aggression out in a safe way and in a way where everyone is having fun,” Fluetsch said. 

Pitts said Fluetsch’s work ethic impresses her the most. 

“She’s just always out there giving 100%,” Pitts said. “She’s always giving me her full attention at practice and games, and trying to learn more about the game.” 

Fluetsch said she gets her determination from her commitment to the team. 

“If I want my teammates to work hard, and if I want to be able to put my faith in them, then I need to do my own part to make sure they can have faith in me,” Fluetsch said. 

Sophomore small forward Daisy Zhou said Fluetsch “helps the team improve during practices and leads them to make better choices during games.” 

Zhou said she is inspired by Fluetsch’s constant hard work and the team will improve under her leadership. Fluetsch continues to play despite breaking the middle finger on her right hand during the annual capture-the-flag game on Sept. 20. 

“I had broken it and neglected to have it looked at until recently, so it healed incorrectly,” said Fluetsch, who’s right-handed. “I’ve been heavily taping it for practice and games, and have a splint on for the rest of the day.”

Fluetsch said she has an appointment in January when she’ll find out if the finger needs to be re-broken so that it may heal correctly. 

Following last season, Pitts and Fluetsch agreed that she needs to continue to improve her shooting. 

“I get the ball a lot, and I can handle it pretty well,” Fluetsch said. “But I tend to miss most of my shots.” 

Pitts said, however, that Fluetsch’s strength is how she’s grown as a player, specifically her shooting. 

“While she still needs to work on shooting, I can tell her confidence as a player has grown and she’s put in time over the summer improving her (form),” Pitts said. 

Fluetsch’s main goal for the team this season is to work hard and make the necessary improvements to “be the best possible version of ourselves.” 

Fluetsch said she idolizes last year’s team captain, Heidi Johnson, ’19. 

“She was always working really hard at practices,” Fluetsch said. “She put everything onto herself during the games. It was really impressive to see somebody work that hard all the time. That’s who I’d like to be, at least for the team, somebody who they can look up to for support on and off the court. 

“She inspires me to work harder, especially in her absence. I feel like it’s only fair that we start to give that same amount of effort she did,” Fluetsch said.

Fluetsch mentioned that she has average height (5-foot-7) in girls basketball, so she faces many taller players but maintains a positive mindset. 

“It is intimidating, and you realize that winning will be a lot of hard work,” Fluetsch said. “Even if you don’t end up succeeding, at the end of the game you can know that you did your best.” 

By Arikta Trivedi

Originally published in the Dec. 17 edition of the Octagon.