Thunder Mountain freshman shooting guard Michaela Demmert has played basketball since the fourth grade. Demmert was born in Juneau but moved with her family to Ashland, Ore., when she was in the first grade, where she lived for four years before returning back to Juneau. She said she sees herself being a contributing factor on this year's Falcons squad, even as a freshman. And although she wasn't a part of last year's team, she said they should be considerably improved this season.
Do you play any other sports besides basketball?
"I played volleyball and I'm thinking about soccer."
What do you do in your free time when you're not playing sports?
"I hang out with friends and relax at home mostly, because (basketball) takes up a lot of my time. I also kind of like to draw. I'm still a beginner but I'm thinking about taking a drawing class at school to get better. I just like to draw what's on my mind and fix it up to make it look good. I draw a lot of scenes and landscapes, just in pencil mostly. They just started as doodles but then I realized it was kind of fun to make them look good, and that's when I became interested in it."
What's your favorite class in school?
"Probably math because I get it the best. It used to be writing, but now it's gotten harder, and math is just really easy to me because I get it. I understand why things happen, and I'm not really confused with things that most people are. I've had good teachers but my dad was also really good at math, so I guess I've carried that on."
Do you have idea what you might want to do after high school?
"I want to go to college, somewhere warm. I think about going back to Ashland because I used to love it and I have a lot of memories there, but my parents have kind of discouraged me. I don't really know but I've still got a lot of time to think about it."
Do you follow the NBA or college basketball? If so, are there any teams or players that you root for?
"I know a lot of people who like Duke so I just go with them, but I don't watch much college basketball. I watch NBA mostly. Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade are probably my favorite players."
What are your expectations for this year's TMHS girls basketball team?
"This year we're going to be pushed more by (the coaches) because they know what kind of competition we'll be going up against. They have an idea of where we need to be so they're going to push us to get better as a team and improve our skills. We have a much better chance this year to compete with other teams, and even though we won't be amazing, we'll be better. It's tough for me to say because I was an eighth grader last year and didn't play on that team, but I think our ball handling has gotten better and we'll make smarter passes instead of forcing it."
So far, what's been your favorite part about playing basketball for TMHS?
"It's been fun to be around the coaches. They're not uptight and they're comfortable being themselves around us, so we can be ourselves around them. They're easy to get along with and comfortable sharing their personal life, which makes it easier to connect with them."