Basketball: Tightly bonded – Through hardships, Rambsels become closer

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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Pulling Together

PULLING TOGETHER – Sisters Brooklyn and Sam Rambsel have helped the 26-3 Slidell Lady Greyhounds to a second straight district title. They will start the playoffs this weekend. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Early in her senior year, Brooklyn Rambsel lost her starting job in the Slidell Lady Greyhounds’ lineup.

Admittedly she had a few hard feelings at first, especially because it was to a freshman, and her sister Sam. But the pride in watching her kid sister and team excel quickly won her over.

“I’m proud of her. At first I was jealous, but then I realized that she helps the team so much,” Brooklyn said. “She scores a lot and gets the ball up the floor. She’s really good. I’m proud of her for coming this far.”

The two sisters have been a big part of the Lady Greyhounds’ success in rolling to a second straight unbeaten run through district play. The 19th-ranked Lady Greyhounds will begin the Class A Region III playoffs this week against Avinger or Fannidel.

“It’s awesome to be back-to-back undefeated district champs,” Brooklyn said.

Coming off the bench, Brooklyn is averaging three points. Sam is contributing eight points. Both are shooting better than 30 percent on 3-pointers.

“Both work hard,” said Slidell coach Lance Shelton. “It’s been fun. They have different skills.”

Joining the Lady Greyhounds, Sam was a little nervous with Brooklyn on the team.

“It was intimidating,” Sam said.

But she quickly got over it.

Though it’s their first year of playing varsity basketball together, they played select ball with each other for three years.

On the court, they say a close bond helps them. It’s a bond that’s developed through hardships off the court that forced them to lean on each other. The two youngest of five siblings, they spent more than a year in foster care before being adopted by their grandparents five years ago and brought to Slidell.

“We’ve pretty much had each other all our lives,” Brooklyn said. “I’ve had to take care of her and she’s had to take care of me.”

Those hardships also made them stronger with their teammates.

“It makes us stronger with our team because they’ve helped us through the problems we’ve had the past five years. We’re all a team and love each other,” Brooklyn said.

In unison, Sam and Brooklyn said: “We’re all sisters.”

As the playoffs start, Sam is battling an ankle injury that kept her out of the warm-up game with Newcastle. She said she will be ready by the area game.

“It’s really hard watching,” Sam said.

The sisters are hoping the team can make an extended playoff run to give them more time on the court together.

“Being my senior year, I’m ready to go as far as we can. Hopefully state,” Brooklyn said.

And Sam is not looking ahead: “It’s probably going to be different when she graduates and not getting to play with her.”

But no matter how the season ends, they will have the memories and each other to cherish.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Brooklyn said. “I love playing basketball with her. I love the game, and I love her.”

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