Varsity Basketball

Getting to know Jamillah Bonner

Jamillah Bonner of Wichita Southeast.
Jamillah Bonner of Wichita Southeast. The Wichita Eagle

Jamillah Bonner

Southeast basketball

Bonner, a junior, is a three-sport athlete who also competes in volleyball and track. She was named to the All-City League basketball team as a sophomore after averaging a league-high 17.3 points. She's currently leading the league with 19.5 points, and is averaging 7.5 rebounds, 6.6 steals and 2.1 assists.

You say you're extremely competitive _ just how competitive are you?

"I don't like losing, so when somebody beats me, I'll get you next time. I'll keep playing until I win. I don't want to say I get an attitude, but I get upset when I lose. I try to make it perfect.... When we play cards at the house I say, 'I'm about to beat you all.' I pick the teammates that are good."

What do you play outside of high school sports that you're so competitive in?

"We play spades, and we got the Wii now, and when we bowl, I want to get on Pro and beat everybody!... Sometimes I'll be cheating. I'm not lying. I cheat sometimes. Not like in basketball or volleyball, but in cards."

Southeast is 6-3 but the Buffaloes haven't had a winning season since 2000-01, and the volleyball team has struggled, too. Is it tough playing for teams that don't win when you're so competitive?

"It's very difficult. I try to stay strong. I've got to be more patient than other teams I've been on. Patience helps. I wasn't patient before, in the past. I think, 'OK, I have to do this and do that.' Usually I'd yell because of my competitiveness —'go do this, go do that.' I've toned that down."

You're awfully busy with playing three sports. Is it tough?

"Sometimes I be like, 'Oh my God, I need a break.' I want to hang out with my friends, but I want to be committed to the team. Do I do this or do I do that? I choose to be committed to the team."

To improve your game, you play basketball in pickup games against guys during the summer. Does that help your game?

"They go hard on us, but they don't go too hard to hurt us. They know we need to get better and they understand, so they go all out. I'm more confident in my dribbling because last year I was a little shaky. I know how to dribble, but I didn't think I could do well. My shot — I used to dribble in and go shoot a layup. (Playing against guys), they won't let you go in for a layup. They'll block your stuff. You have no choice but to pull up (for a jumper)."

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