An ‘explosive’ player is voted KAIAC MVPAs the biggest high school in the Korean American Interscholastic Activities Conference (KAIAC), Seoul American has been the consistent front-runner in women’s basketball. Leading the team to yet another KAIAC tournament victory this year was league MVP Janel Daniels.
“She’s an explosive ballplayer,” said her coach, Charlotte Hicks, “she plays very aggressive offense, and sees the angles she can drive into the basket.”
Because of the team’s relative talent in the KAIAC conference, Seoul American often played by “the mercy rule,” meaning first-stringers, including Daniels, were on the bench. This past week, however, Daniels and her team were able to take their game up a few notches at the more competitive Far East Tournament in Japan. “There were a lot of good people with good talent; it was good to move to that next level,” said Daniels. “I love challenges, I want to push myself more.”
Push she did, leading her team to a 3d-place finish out of 16 schools. In addition, she was named all-conference and 3d team all-tournament, played in the all-star game and won the free-throw competition, sinking 20 of 25 shots.
A special strength of the Seoul American team this season was that they had not just one Daniels, but two. Janel’s sister, one-year-older Demeka, also played for the Lady Falcons. “They work like twins,” coach Hicks said of the sisters. “They have a nice connection.”
“I’ve been playing with my sister my whole life,” Janel said. “I can close my eyes and throw her the ball and she’ll get it.”
Although Demeka will be graduating in the spring, Janel, a junior, still has another season to play. She says she plans to work on her shooting and ball-handling skills with her dad and prepare for college.
by Kirsten Jerch
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