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Jami Sacco is averaging 18 points per contest as a sophomore point guard for the Westbrook girls’ basketball squad. (Photo courtesy of Jami Sacco )
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Jami Sacco is only a sophomore on the up-and-coming Westbrook girls’ basketball team, but she’s already taken control of the club as the Knights’ point guard and primary scorer.
Jami led the Shoreline Conference in scoring by averaging 18 points per game during the regular season. On Feb. 15, Jami turned in the best performance of her young career when she scored 36 points in a 55-29 victory against Norwich Tech.
“Basketball is my favorite sport for so many reasons. I love scoring, and I love learning about all different aspects of the game,” Jami says. “I think I’m best as a passer and scorer, but there’s things I definitely need to work on as well, like my defense. I want to get quicker and stronger and lead this team to bigger and better results.”
Westbrook finished its regular season with a record of 6-14 and then lost to Valley Regional in the quarterfinals of the Shoreline Conference Tournament. The Knights are playing in the Class S State Tournament this week and started off the draw with a first-round matchup against Wolcott Tech.
“We’re a better team than our record shows, and I know we can come out and compete against Wolcott,” says Jami. “They’re a strong team, but we have a lot of talent, too.”
Jami crafted her game with the help of her mother Sue McKenna. A Westbrook alum, McKenna earned All-State honors when she played for the Knights.
“Both of my parents were really into basketball when I was growing up,” Jami says. “So, I grew up with their teachings, and they instilled their love for the game in me.”
One of the most important lessons that Jami learned from her parents was the importance of forming bonds through sports.
“Sports are all about relationships, and the relationships I’ve built with all my teammates throughout my years of playing are so important to me,” says Jami. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s awesome to win, but it’s so much more than just a sport. It’s about the camaraderie and memories you make with your friends.”
Westbrook Head Coach Frank Lyon says that Jami is one of the most consistent players on his roster. Lyon knows how important Jami’s contributions are to the Knights, especially with the graduation of Savannah Marshall, who is now playing Division I at Sacred Heart University.
“It’s hard to replace someone of Savannah’s talent level, but Jami has come in with a fire under her, and she’s done a great job so far,” Lyon says. “She’s young, too, so she’s got plenty of room to grow. By nature, she’s a [shooting guard], but by necessity, Jami needs to handle the ball for us.”
Jami says it was a valuable experience to play on the same team as Marshall last season. She understands that no individual player is going to fill those shoes.
“I want to be my own player and write my own story. Savannah was great, and I learned a lot from playing with her for one year, but I know what I’m capable of,” says Jami. “I just need to keep working hard. Coming to practice with that same intensity day in and day out is tough, but it’s necessary if we want to improve as a team and if I want to improve myself.”
Jami notes a few areas in which she’s looking to improve. Jami wants to become a better on-ball defender and more of a vocal leader as she enters the second half of her high school career.
“I think I’m definitely a more reserved person, but I’m trying to communicate more with my teammates on the floor and give the team a spark when we need it,” Jami says. “And I’m really looking to improve defensively. I want to get quicker and stronger, so that I don’t get beat off the dribble. That will make my game really solid.”
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