The Sisterhood of the Women’s Basketball Program

Headlined by 7 senior commits, the women’s basketball team looks to hang up another banner.


Jack Smith

When it comes to the top high school women’s basketball program in the nation, Archbishop Mitty is definitely in the running. Currently they’ve picked up wins against Valley Christian, Presentation, Bishop O’Dowd, and St. Ignatius—putting them at the top of the WCAL. It is difficult to look at a program led by a coach who has amassed over 700 career wins, built up of a core of college signees and many more college hopefuls, and carried on by a strong group of alumna including NCAA Tournament champion and Most Outstanding Player Haley Jones and not label them as the most successful program in the country. This year, all seven of the team’s seniors are headed to play basketball in college. Hunter Hernandez, Olivia Williams, and Amelia Scharpf at UC Irvine, Marley Langi at UC Davis, Kaitlyn Springs at UC San Diego, Sydney Bourland at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Anika Chinthakunta at Babson. However, the players and coaches of the Archbishop Mitty women’s basketball program know something that many people don’t: None of that defines success.

In a recent interview with AMHS Live, coach Sue Phillips pointed out that, “Society, in general, believes that success is about wins and losses and trophies…and if I were to sacrifice my integrity towards that end, in my mind, I’m not successful.” Coach Phillips went on to explain that, to her, a successful program is a sisterhood in which, “these players feel safe, they can be vulnerable, they can be themselves, and they can strive to be great without feeling that they need to dim their light.”

Over the years, this idea of a familial sisterhood has slowly evolved into a reality. With players constantly competing alongside each other as Monarchs and also as Cagers during the club basketball season, the labels of “friend” and “teammate” progressively dissolve into “sister”. Senior Katie Springs elaborated on this idea, explaining that, “through [these] four years of spending almost every second together, you really become sisters… and lean on each other with classes or basketball or anything in between.”

Because of the strong sisterhood that the women’s basketball program is built up of, the players and coaches have been able to remain strong amidst the turbulence that has accompanied this past year and they are prepared to take on any challenge that they may face this season, and in normal sisterhood fashion, they’ll do it together.