FROM FORWARD TO FAN

Jacob Siciliano , Executive Producer

A wave of emotions washed over senior forward Jenna Acosta as she stepped on the court for her last time as a Prospect Knight. While she knew the significance of this moment, she was purely focused on getting a win over Chicago Hope Academy, who had put 91 points on the board just a few days prior.

“It’s very overwhelming, only because I’m never going to have another [high school] basketball game,” Acosta said. “So, I’m really hoping that we can make this one count.” 

Prospect did make it count as they pulled off a 78-54 win over Chicago Hope Academy, solidifying their best season in recent history. The Knights capped off the year with a 12-4 record and a second place finish in the MSL East. It was a much different situation than the Knights had found themselves in just one year ago.

“If you told me last year how much we would have grown from just the offseason and the few contact days we had, I’d never believe it,” Acosta said. “Going from losing a majority of conference [games] last year to winning game after game this year feels so much better.”

Part of that recent success has been due to first year head coach Matthew Weber who has revitalized Prospect’s defense. His defense averaged 12.4 steals per game earning Prospect the reputation of one of the most aggressive defenses in the MSL. Weber was able to get the entire team to buy into his system and it paid off.

“The majority of my basketball career I’ve had a focus on offense, and if I wasn’t having a good game [offensively], I wasn’t having a good game at all. But, this year, I definitely took it a step up on defense and that’s where a majority of my good gameplay comes from now,” Acosta said.

Another difference between this year’s team and past teams was chemistry. Despite the pandemic, Acosta said that the team was closer than ever, on and off the court.

“We make a lot of time for each other. Even after Friday or Saturday night games, we’ll go and hang out and get food,” Acsota said. “And we’ll just sit in the room for hours, telling stories and getting closer [as a team.]”

However, all great runs have to come to an end, and as the clock hit triple zero’s in Jean Walker for the last time this season, Acosta’s time had run out as a Prospect Knight.

“It’s unreal honestly.” Acosta said. “The last 10 years of my life I’ve had this sport which I’ve always been able to turn to and play, which obviously I can still do. But, knowing that I’ve played my last organized meaningful game is really hard to wrap my head around.” 

It’s a reality that many seniors are coming to terms with as summer draws closer and graduation from Prospect along with it. While Acosta is sad that she has played her final game as a Knight, she has immense hope for the future of the program.

“[They can be] conference champs. We have such an emphasis on our juniors this year, their senior potential is incredible,” Acosta added. “I just can’t wait to watch them.”