ViÃ±a holds court
Two-time MVP Jilliane ViÃ±a has twice led the Britannia Bruins to a Vancouver city championship as one of the youngest players on the senior girls basketball team. But this 16-year-old knows she doesn't take to the court alone. Like the clenched fist she and her Britannia teammates all wear as an emblem on their red cotton T-shirts, they are stronger together.
International travel and reality television keep them tight. Hear them applaud each other, "Way to go, Honey Boo Coo child," like the too-big-for-one-realityshow Toddlers and Tiaras pageant princess.
"We do have a lot of chemistry together," said ViÃ±a. "We've been playing together for three or four years so we know each others' weaknesses and strengths. It helps a lot because I know where to be when someone drives, where someone is going to be open."
Her key steals, play-making assists and game-leading 19 points aren't top of mind following Friday's championship victory. But her teammates' contributions are.
"We all worked really hard and we pulled through together," she said, her hotpink nails matching the flash of elastic in her braces. "It's a championship and you've got to play the best that you can and play as a team."
Bruins coach Mike Evans credited ViÃ±a her movement off the ball at both ends of the court. "She's very creative offensive player," he said.
ViÃ±a, who wrestles and trains at kick-boxing and jujitsu, likes the physicality of the court sport. "There is a lot of contact and a lot of hustle and aggressiveness that you have to bring."