• LAST DAY OF SCHOOL Friday, May 24
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The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

Family Ties: Basketball Brotherhood Shapes Success + Editor’s Note

Kelly Wasemiller
The varsity basketball team cheers on their teammates as they attempt to make a 3-pointer.

Editor’s note: The team is, as of January 16, nationally ranked at number three by MaxPreps and ranked first in the state of Texas after a win against Hebron High School on January 16. 


After years of friendship, senior Amanni Koutsakis and senior Seth Romero create a bond on and off the basketball court. After playing together for several years prior, the basketball team developed a great sense of sportsmanship between themselves. Passing and dribbling down the court, they work together in harmony to maintain the upper hand against their opponent. At the first home game of the season against Highland Park, the team won with a score of 70-54, leading up to a record of 13-0 as of December 8.

“[The players] are all very close,” team manager Kaylee Hatcher said. “Being in there, it’s actually really fun because it’s so cool to watch them work together as a team. They’re more than friends, they are literally like family to each other.”

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During practices, the team participates in mainly shooting and scrimmage-type drills. By practicing for almost two hours from 3:30 p.m to around 6 p.m, the coaches aim to keep the team’s eye on the prize in maintaining the same accomplishments from last year, such as becoming bi-district champions. 

“We just try to make sure everything’s sharp [like] our shooting and our plays, so we can put on a show for the fans,” varsity senior Narit Chotikavanic said. “[Our] main goal is to win district and win state this year.”

With extensive practices and timed schedules for each drill and each break, varsity coach Matt Wester keeps the team on their toes in order to work towards his goals for the season. By maintaining the game-like atmosphere, Wester forces the team to be game ready at all times.

“Practices are really designed to be competitive,” Wester said. “We keep track of who wins each drill and we always rank and who has won the most. It gets them to play hard and compete, which sets us apart from other people.”

Currently, there are 12 returning varsity players and 13 current seniors on the team this year. After developing a bond over the past two years, the players know each other inside and out as they work to maintain and improve their work ethic.

“We understand that there’s a target on our back because of our title as defending district champs so we are prepared to take it one game at a time as we will get everyone’s best shot,” Romero said. “The entire team is extremely tightly knit [and we] all have connections and trust each other, so it’s a very positive locker room environment.”

During games, the team maintains a strong bond with each other, allowing them to work effectively together. This bond reflects on the court as they swiftly pass to each other, predicting the next move. For this team, basketball is like a chess match where they are three steps ahead of their opponent. This translates from their history with each other as most of them played together in middle school and high school, leading up to their time on varsity. 

“My favorite part [of the team] is probably the brotherhood we’ve built,” senior Rachard Angton said. “Most of us have been friends since elementary school, so [my favorite part] is just all of us being able to be on the same team one last time before we go off to college.”

As most of the varsity players are near their last year of high school, Wester hopes that the boys enjoy their experiences on the basketball team.

“I love the relationship part about being a coach,” Wester said. “It’s rare to have the type of friendships and bonds that these guys have. I have a really good team with a lot of experience. What I really want to do is create the best experience of their high school career and make it a year they’ll never forget.”

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