In the wake of the 2018 Oscar Nominations, the Foothill Technology girls’ basketball team is looking like a favorite for Best Director under the leadership of a junior who has taken her game to the next level this season. Team Captain Abby Bova ‘19 has been running the show for the Dragons this year, helping to propel them to a 17-4 record, including several impressive wins over Division one and two schools.
Since day one, Bova has been playing the sport in a family where “the atmosphere is all about basketball.” With a father who put his children through “little practices in the backyard” at young ages, Bova has grown up playing without much choice of her own, but in time has “come to love it.”
In elementary school, she played for the Wildcats League and the Ventura Youth Basketball Association before transitioning to the Ventura Breakers and Fusion in middle school. Additionally she played with Balboa’s school team where they won the county championship in her eighth grade year.
Due to all of the different teams she played on throughout elementary and middle school, Bova played with many of her current teammates before high school. Co-captain Cydnie Gutierrez ‘19 played with her at Balboa and was able to develop chemistry with Bova early on. Gutierrez has been able to watch Bova transition as she has “improved on being more confident in herself” and has grown as a leader.
“Her leadership skills are more action driven than word driven, so we do what she does as a leader,” Gutierrez said. “She can hold us together when we’re stressed out in tough games.”
Teammate Annika Kinnaman ‘19 also touted Bova’s leadership abilities. “It’s not only the oncourt things that she does well and exemplifies leadership, but also off the court, you can tell she has a passion for the game and really wants to improve,” she said.
Bova feels that the transition from freshman year to junior year has helped her to become more confident in herself and her game, compared to her early years. “Coming in from middle school I was pretty petrified to shoot the ball,” Bova said. “In fact, at the end of eighth grade, they gave out paper plate awards and mine said ‘most likely to be told to shoot the ball.’”
Her growth and belief in herself has been clear to coach Jason Edgmond. He feels that this year she has become “a much better shooter, a much better defender,” and “she’s protecting the ball very well.” Edgmond thinks that every part of her game is valuable to her team. “She shoots well, assists well, rebounds well, plays good defense. She is a stat stuffer, she’s good at everything,” he said.
Edgmond also recognizes that she helps bring the team together with her personal attributes. “Her teammates look up to her and she’s easy to coach and she’s a great teammate,” he said.
Bova feels that the team’s success is thanks to their great chemistry on and off the court. “Everyone says this, but we actually are family. I know all these different girls, I knew them all from different teams, but when we all came together it was just meant to be, I guess. Everyone works so well together, we’re all friends, we all hang out. It’s really the greatest situation I could’ve asked for,” she said.
And even though she plays with two sisters as teammates, she said, “on the court, they’re not my sisters, they’re just my teammates, even though we of course have great chemistry from playing together so long.”
As for her future, Bova isn’t totally sure what her plan is. While she feels that playing Division I college basketball might be a bit of a stretch, she hasn’t closed off the idea of any college basketball. “I think D two or D three would be pretty cool, but either way, somehow I’ll be playing basketball because I don’t think I could give it up at this point.”
Edgmond definitely thinks she can play in college. “She’s really athletic, she’s super smart and got a great GPA, so I think anything’s possible. She can do anything she wants,” he said.