Back and Better Than Ever: Girls Varsity Basket Ballers


It’s no secret that the South Lyon East Girls varsity basketball team is one of SLE’s most successful and dedicated programs. This year, the team is more excited than ever before and the girls are hungry for everything they have coming.

Ella Kruschka has been a varsity starter since her freshman year, and has had immense success throughout her time with SLE girls basketball. Kruschka, a 3 sport varsity and scholar athlete, has poured her heart and soul into the team for the past 4 years, attending open gyms and optional workouts as often as she can while also putting in the work during the off season. The team can accredit much of their success to Kruschka’s precision, skill and dedication.

Krushcka says, “With it being my senior year and last year with this team, I plan to make every moment count. The team knows we’re about to push ourselves to the max so that we can be more successful than ever, and I’m really excited to see how things play out.”

Basketball has always been and remains a huge part of Krushcka’s life. When she isn’t in the gym with her team, you can find her in her driveway practicing her layups and free throws for hours on end. Ella also has multiple offers from multiple different colleges who want her to come and dominate on their team.

“We all put in work outside of practice, because basketball is something we all love to do, not just feel obligated to do. I think the work that we put in outside of regular practice hours contributes a lot to the success of our program,” Kruschka says.

It’s hard to find a group more dedicated and devoted to their sport than these girls. The work they put in shows up on the court, evidently enough. Even with all of the complications of a global pandemic, the team managed to persevere and come out on top as LVC Champions.

Sophomore Anna Lassan says, “This season should be awesome. We have so much talent and so much drive, so it should be a super, super good season. I feel like I didn’t quite get the full experience last year with COVID and everything, so I’m really excited for my first normal-ish season.”

Lassan made varsity as a freshman and started most games. She already has college offers rolling in, and it’s clear her future in basketball is bright.

While last year was unconventional for the girls, they still managed to stay close and form great bonds and friendships amongst themselves. With tons of COVID-safe team bonding activities and all the hours they spent together putting in work, it is no wonder the girls are as close as they are.

“Having a close team is part of what makes us successful. It’s really hard to play good ball with girls you hardly know anything about. We spend so much time together and we are all best friends, which makes it really easy to WANT to play better and be good,” Kruschka says. “The team has been a super close knit group since I joined, and because this year that responsibility falls on the other seniors and me we plan to continue to spend as much time together as we can.”

Kruschka emphasized the frustration she felt after losing a playoff game to Brighton to end the season last year. “We CAN’T lose to Brighton again. We’re beating Brighton this year, if it’s the last thing I do,” she laughed.

“It was a huge upset, and it was really sad for our seniors who are so talented and worked so hard. This year not only will we make it to the playoffs, but we’re trying to go all the way,” Kruschka said with excitement.

Madi Black is another 4-year varsity member who has devoted much of her time, attention, and skill to the team. She too feels the pressure of her final season and the excitement that is the last and final ride.

“All the seniors have just put our all into these past 4 years, and I’m really excited to see it all show when we dominate this season. We all have super high expectations and we know that as long as we keep up the hard work and stay focused this could be the best season yet,” Black says.

Black committed to Alma College earlier this year to continue her athletic and academic career, and is super pumped to show her future coaches and teammates what she’s made of. She emphasized the importance of putting in work outside of practice – attending open gyms and workouts, practicing by yourself at home, and coming into practice with a positive attitude and the readiness to work hard and get sweaty.

Though the season has just officially started, the girls encourage everybody to get excited for all of the awesome things they’re going to accomplish this year.

The girls have a fantastic track record of showing up and showing out, but players feel their games are often overlooked by the student body.

“I feel like the boys team gets much more attention than the girls. The boys are super good and really talented, but we put in just as much time and work,” Kruschka says.

The first home game for the girls is at home on December 7th.