During a recent game against Friends Academy, Floral Park Memorial High School’s girl varsity basketball team added another win to their undefeated start. However, for one junior on the team, this particular game provided a little something extra than just another win.
Kaela Hilaire, the team’s point guard and leading scorer, scored 13 points during the game and reached the milestone of 1,000 points in her career playing at Floral Park, making her only the second player in Floral Park history to do so.
“It felt great that I hit my first milestone,” said Hilaire of the accomplishment. “But it really was just like any other game.”
The 11th grade point guard started her basketball journey in fourth grade while playing for a fifth grade CYO Saint Vincent De Paul team.
When she entered her freshman year it became clear to Hilaire that she wanted to focus on basketball ahead of any other sport and it is something that she hopes to continue to do after high school.
“I have a lot of fun playing basketball,” said Hilaire. She also stated that having the opportunity to go to college for free with a scholarship is also a big drive for her.
The lady knight, who now averages a team-high 23.3 points per game, has not been without help along the way. She credits her CYO coach, Kaiya Dorner-Holley, who has since passed away, as the leader who helped teach her to fix her attitude.
Hilaire also thanks her father, Darryl Hilaire for taking her to the gym to practice her game throughout the years.
Although Hilaire left Floral Park for a brief stint with the Long Island Lutheran Crusaders, she says that Floral Park’s women’s basketball team has become much more than just a team to her.
“Playing with them always felt like family,” said Hilaire. “They accepted me back and it was like I never left.”
Hilaire and her fellow teammates on the Floral Park varsity women’s basketball team play again on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 6:15 p.m at Bethpage.