Asaria Turman, Pioneer’s talented senior basketball player, is asked to give a player breakdown of someone she’s been around her whole life – her younger sister, Ashanti.
“She comes across as really shy and quiet but she’s the most outgoing person I know,” Asaria said. “She is so energetic and brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm. She’s also my best friend and she knows me better than I know myself.”
She does? Well, then let’s ask Ashanti to give a breakdown of her older sister.
“She’s like the queen of the court,” says Ashanti, a 5-foot-7 junior forward. “She’s the dominant player that other teams need to stop. They come in with a plan to not let No. 35 touch the ball or shoot. If they stop No. 35 they feel like they can win the game.”
But that is no longer the case. The Pioneers have plenty of offensive firepower to turn to and their depth is a big reason for the impressive start.
“This year is different,” Ashanti said. “We have some good shooters who can score from the outside so we aren’t a one-player team.”
Anything else you want to share about your sister?
“She said I’m her best friend well she’s my best friend, too,” Ashanti says. “We just love each other. I’m going to cry. We are so lucky to have her. I’m lucky to have her.”
The sisters help bring that family attitude – and love – to the Pioneers.
“They are extremely different but I love both of them,” says Pioneer Coach Tyrone Hicks. “Asaria is the vocal leader of our team. She’s our captain and a four-year starter and everyone really respects her.
“Ashanti has a way of knowing what the team needs and filling in those holes. She’s always a pleasure to be around.”
When you start the season 6-1 everything appears to be a lot of fun. And having fun has been a key to Pioneer’s early success.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was in third grade and this is the best team I have ever played on,” Asaria said. “I love every player on the team. We all love each other and our chemistry is there.”
Asaria, a 6-foot senior center/power forward, has been a captain since her sophomore year but this year feels a little different when it comes to her leadership role.
“Yeah, I feel like now that I’m the oldest I have more experience to share with the younger players and I’m able to use that to better help the team.”
Asaria says the team’s early success is not a surprise. “We all put in a lot of hours over the summer and were really committed to getting better,” she said. “We are buying into how good we can be and continue to get better each and every day in practice.”