Anastasia Grekos’ favourite sport may be soccer, but her basketball coach hopes she continues shooting lay-ups and jump shots for years to come.
As the leading scorer on East York Collegiate’s undefeated junior girls’ basketball team, Grekos is a gifted athlete with a big leadership role.
“She is a phenomenal guard, she delivers,” says head coach Stacy Ganogiannis. “She motivates other people on the court, she does what I say, and she’s also smart enough she can do her own thing.
“She doesn’t need me to call everything, she’s very intuitive and perceptive. She calls her own plays.”
The Grade 10 student, who has always played basketball at the school level but never with a club, also excels at volleyball and soccer.
With her coach standing next to her, Grekos admitted that soccer is her first love, but basketball is a close second.
“I think she’s a natural when it comes to team sports and she’s a leader,” Ganogiannis said. “In terms of basketball, last game I said I don’t want you to be point guard, I want you to let the younger player be point guard, you’re going to play No. 2, and you’re going to help and assist her on the court.
“She had no problem with that. She’s very selfless.”
While Grekos wants to credit her teammates for East York’s success, saying they make her look good, she does admit her achievements come from hard work.
“I’m motivated, I’m driven,” she said. “I want to win, I play my hardest every game.
“I’m pretty devoted. Commitment is the biggest thing. I do come to practice everyday, dressed, ready to play, hair up.”
Last season, the talented point guard also led the Athenas in points as it barreled to the city championships, winning decisively. This year has brought more of the same for Grekos, but Ganogiannis says she’s actually improved her performance.
“She’s even coming to my office to grab all of the equipment to set up and also sometimes I’ll look at her and she looks at me, ‘Okay we’re doing triangle shooting, we’re doing rebound shooting,’” she says. “She gives me little reminders because I have a system and she remembers that.”
Though the Athenas rotate captains, the players seem to recognize Grekos’ role, as they always nominate her for the position whenever the referee calls for the team leader.
Ganogiannis says she would like to see Grekos continue with basketball, and she would be happy to hear her player does indeed plan to keep playing sports as long as she can.
“Maybe professional, I don’t know, really, the sky is the limit,” Grekos says. “Right now, my goal is to get a scholarship, maybe to the States or in Canada. I always have goals set for myself, so I’m trying to reach them.”