Josoff uses basketball to make lifelong memories and friends

Senior Laycee Josoff gets her feet set to shoot her free throw in the sub-district game against Weeping Water. Josoff has started all four years of high school. (Ginger Eikmeier)

The environment. The relationships. The journey. When four-year starter senior Laycee Josoff reflects on her basketball career, these are some of the things that stand out.

“I love the environment while on the court,” Josoff said. “I am with my best friends who I’ve grown up with, the fans are there every game and the student section is as loud as possible. Just seeing all the eyes on you while you’re on the court feels amazing.”

Josoff not only enjoys the environment but also how the game is played.

“It’s a very fast-paced game,” Josoff said. “I am constantly moving up and down the court, which gets my adrenaline rushing, and I love that feeling.”

Josoff has used this love for the game to help her accomplish her goals and make friends.

“It has been a goal of mine to be a 12-sport athlete in my high school career,” Josoff said. “Starting all four years is a very big accomplishment for me, and I’ve met so many lifelong friends.”

Josoff plans to use her experience from all three years to make her fourth the best. 

In my freshmen year, I was the underdog because I was on the court with four seniors, so I had to prove that I earned that spot fair and square,” Josoff said. 

Josoff’s sophomore year brought a new dynamic because she had been playing with the class below all throughout grade school. 

“After losing all those seniors, my childhood basketball team came back together,” Josoff said.

While Josoff was excited for her sophomore year, it didn’t go as she had hoped.

Senior Laycee Josoff talks to junior Ellie Lloyd during the district final game against Elkhorn Valley. Josoff’s favorite part about basketball is the friends she has made. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“My sophomore year was really rough because we were still young and playing against way more developed teams,” Josoff said.

The next year the team was more experienced and had the same starters, so Josoff said she was ready to go to state.

“My junior year we went for a good run most of the season,” Josoff said. “That was until we got cut short in the district final.”

While the ending was different than she hoped, that final game still stands out as one of Josoff’s favorite basketball memories. 

“My favorite memory by far is the district final game we played last year. When I ran out on the court for warm-ups, I teared up a little bit because I felt the positive atmosphere surrounding me,” Josoff said. “The whole town of Yutan showed their support, and I will remember that game forever.”

With three previous years as a starter and a district final game under her belt, Josoff said she is more than ready to start her senior season with some of her best friends. 

“We can read each other really well now,” Josoff said. “Even though we have a lot of new freshmen on the team, I think we can go really far in the season with how close we are.”

Josoff hopes her love for the game and the friendships she’s made will finally help her team qualify for state. 

“In the past three years, we as a team have got cut short every year, so I’m most excited to see how far the team goes,” Josoff said. “I know it will take everyone to get to where we want to be, at Pinnacle.”