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Jaisah Lee ’19 (left) with teammates Maddy Miller ’20 (center) and Anika Johnson ’17. Photo courtesy SR Photos.

Team Bond Embraces a Still Larger Family

The greatness of teams is not measured solely by their talent, but by how well they communicate with one another. Volleyball’s Green Knights share both these characteristics. In fact, the team bond extends beyond the court and into the individual lives of the players. And one player’s family has especially embraced the team.

At the first home game of the season, family and friends of Jaisah Lee ’19 from her Oneida home made up half the crowd. She says, “The team makes fun of me saying, ‘How many people are coming tonight?!’ ” 

Lee in return supports her family friends at their games/events – and the team has gone with her. The team went to Oneida Middle School to practice with the school’s own volleyball players. 

Lee, who continues to live on the Oneida Indian Reservation, says that it was important to both her and her grandfather (athletic director and principal of the high school) to have the St. Norbert team visit the reservation because he knew how much each of the teams would benefit. 

Coach BJ Bryant enjoyed the visit too, and said it was a valuable experience for the Green Knights and the younger students. It allowed the Oneida students to see what it was like for Lee to be a part of the team at St. Norbert. And it gave the Green Knights an opportunity to learn about Lee’s background – a culture they may have not been familiar with before. Lee and her grandfather led the team on a tour of the tribal school and middle school; they also told them their creation story and gave them background on their culture and history. 

Bryant wants to continue the relationship and is thinking about inviting the Oneida students to tour St. Norbert. 

He says it is important to him that there be strong communication, and a sense of connection and trust, on the team. “I want freshman to feel welcome right away, and I want the upperclassmen to be able to feel comfortable helping those [first-year] kids out.” This, in turn translates to a stronger team. Everyone cares for everyone, on and off the court.  

Bryant, in his second year at St. Norbert, says, “When one of the girls on our team’s grandfather passed away – and she got mono around the same time – the team went to Milwaukee for the wake instead of practice that Monday to show our support. I'm big on that emotional side of things, because I think it plays a big factor in on-court success, too” 

To follow Green Knight Volleyball on and off the court, visit the team on Facebook.

Nov. 1, 2016