Leading Gill St. Bernard’s School to the championship tops Ella Fajardo’s aspirations, now that the diminutive playmaker is about to wrap up her high school career with the Knights.
“I definitely do have some goals. My main goal is really to get that championship in our division. We haven’t done that yet,” she told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.
“And also hopefully, to reach 1,000 points. Hopefully, we have enough games because it’s unfortunately cut off a little bit, but I might be able to do that in my last year as a high school player.”
Fajardo is currently finishing her senior year with the school. And she’s doing her best as a leader and team captain of the Knights, which plays in the Skyland Conference.
“Just very, very recently, like a few weeks ago, we’ve been able to do 5-on-5, me and my teammates. We’re not allowed to have a coach in the gym — he’s actually never there, but he provides us the gym,” she said.
Fajardo isn’t new to leadership, having played as her team’s floor general. Last season, she proved how valuable she is with per-game norms of 13.35 points, 2.85 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.42 steals.
And that ability to orchestrate is the reason why Division I school Fairleigh Dickinson University was among the schools that recruited her, which she eventually committed to.
“The main coach and the assistant coaches are fairly new. It’s going to be their third season when I’m a freshman, It’s really a new environment, and they really needed me for that leadership piece in that new environment,” she said in the session that is powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, MILO, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), with Upstream Media as webcast partner.
FDU’s women’s basketball program has just finished its first season under new head coach Angelika Szumilo, who took the place of Pete Cinella as his contract was not renewed after 12 years at the helm.
Under Szumilo, the Knights finished the Northeast Conference with an even 9-9 record, 12-17 overall. Clearly, the team is looking to improve from there, and Fajardo’s arrival by next year will help them.
“Really, one of my goals is to learn as much as I can as a Division 1 player playing at the highest level possible here in the United States.”
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