PREP BASKETBALL: ‘Always do your part for the team’: Fairview’s Lexi Golden recaps sophomore season

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Fairview’s Lexi Golden. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – In this interview, I spoke to Fairview junior basketball player Lexi Golden, and she recapped her sophomore season and talked about what she learned. She got to play alongside some great teammates and has learned a lot during her time on varsity so far.

“I think that it could’ve went better than it did. I was taught many life lessons. I focused on more of the good things that was happening during the season more than the bad. I learned to always be an example to the younger kids in our program. It’s important to always have a good attitude and do your best around them, because they are always watching,” Golden said. “The experience was great. The dedication that every single one of us had is something I’ll never forget. It takes the whole team to win a basketball game. Basketball is a team sport. One person can’t do it all. We had a lot of very talented ladies last year. The teamwork at hard times is what got us our wins. We will continue to put in the hard work for next season. What I’ve learned during my time on varsity so far is to always push yourself, never take shortcuts, always finish hard, take every play like it’s your last, never settle for less, and never be comfortable.”

Lexi got a lot of help from former Fairview head coach Justin Billings and he helped her become the player that she is today. She soaked up as much as she could from last year’s seniors.

“He was a great mentor towards everyone in the program. He boosted my confidence tremendously my ninth-grade year. He has so much love and passion for the game. I’ve learned multiple things from him, such as, if you don’t do your job on the team, you’re hurting them. He gave me confidence and taught me how to believe in myself. The most important thing I learned from him is to always do your part of the team and you all will be successful,” Golden said. “Emma Garcia is an encourager and someone who was always uplifting. She knew her part on the team and did everything she could to be good at her position on the team. I learned from her that it’s okay to make mistakes, but to make up for them on the other end. She told me that mistakes make you better. Not only is she a really good teammate, she was a really great friend and was always there if you needed her. Jaycee Aleman sacrificed her body every game we had literally. She always pushed herself to be the best she could be. I will always look up to them.”

Lexi saw this year’s seniors step up huge during the summer play-day games and she’s seen so much improvement in her performance so far.

“This summer, they really stepped up and were leaders on the court. They taught me that basketball can be fun too,” she said. “I personally think I have improved a lot. I’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth just by rewatching my games and taking criticism from people. I could still use improvement everywhere, because whether you think you are already really good, it’s not good enough. You keep working until you are great. No matter who you are, everyone could always use growth somewhere. It’s time to lock in and get focused on next season now.”

Lexi will continue to work on some things as she gets ready to tip things off and talked about her goals for this upcoming season.

“I will continue to work on my shot, as well as my dribbling skills. My shot has progressed so much and I would like to keep it that way,” she said. “The goals are pretty high this year. I don’t want any feeling of failure. I will continue to work to get better and so will everyone else with their own specific goals. We all definitely want to make a state appearance and even maybe, win the state title. I have never got to experience that and I would love to do that. This team for this upcoming season has some real talent and love for the game and that’s what I love to see.”

Lexi thinks this year’s team will have a pretty special season. She talked about her role models growing up and shared some of the best advice someone ever gave her.

“What will make this team so special to watch this year is our team chemistry. We are working as a team and will continue to work as a team as the year goes on. That’s what will make this upcoming year even better,” she said. “My first role models I ever looked up to were my sisters. I always wanted to be like them, because they were so athletic and both went to college for basketball. They made everything look so easy when I was younger and it blew my mind. My sister, Payton, is not only a great role model, she is also my best friend. I love how she has always treated me like I was older and not a baby. My other role model was my paw-paw. I admire him the most. The reasoning for this is because everything I know today is because of him. He pushes me to be my best in everything I do. He has helped me reach so many goals for myself and he is most definitely the strongest person I know. He is a great role model and probably one of the most kindest people you’ll meet. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

She added,

“The best advice that someone ever gave me was from Kevin Gardner (Coach K). He told me, ‘Don’t worry about others; you play your game and selfishly build your highlights’. That has stuck with me since he has coached me back in middle school.”

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