In the second part of this two-part series, the Leavenworth Times asked local high school players why they chose their uniform numbers.


Basehor-Linwood High girls

Brianna Ward, No. 14: “The last couple of years someone else had it, so I had a different number. I have had that number since the first grade. I scored 14 points in the first game I played in. Ever since that day my number has been 14.”

Katie Yankovich, No. 13: “My dad and cousin Ron (Baker of Wichita State) were both No. 31 – my dad in high school and Ron in college. They were my basketball role models and I wanted to be like them, but still be different so I just flipped the number to be 13 rather than 31.”

Christina LeDesma, No. 30: “I came up with wanting No. 30 because it was my grandpa’s favorite number before he died. I also chose No. 30 because my favorite basketball player, Stephen Curry, has that number.”   

Sarah Grover, No. 15: “My story is kind of boring, but pretty much I chose 15 because it was available and it was just a simple number to remember.”

Brookelyn Vittitow, No. 12: “I've always liked the No. 12 because when my older sister was in high school, she was also No. 12. She was a really good basketball player and I always wanted to be as good as her. So I always like to have the No. 12 because it reminds me of her and how I want to live up to the number.”

MacKenzie Bizzell, No. 23: “I don't really have a reason as to why I chose No. 23. It was the number I chose freshman year so I've stuck with it ever since.”  


Lansing High girls

Sam Caldwell, No. 1: “I got my number due to the fact I play on two of the teams either being on JV and varsity or JV and C-team. I didn’t want to have two different numbers because I didn’t want to confuse the coaches because my original number is 10. It was somewhat assigned, but it doesn’t really bother me. I’m pretty neutral about my number. As long as I’m on the court playing I’m happy.”

Trinity Richardson, No. 2: “I got my basketball number because I am a sophomore. As a sophomore, I wasn’t able to get to pick my number first, nor will I be able to next year if a junior in front of me plays. My usual number is 4, but this year I am 2 and I don’t mind. Usually the numbers that I pick are even numbers because I don’t like the odd ones. It was assigned to me at first but now I’m perfectly fine with it.”

Megan Ernzen, No. 4: “I got my basketball No. 4 for two reasons. The No. 4 had been my dad’s number all his life and I picked my number to be like him when I was little, and it hasn’t changed since. Also, point guard Sherron Collins at Kansas was an inspiring player to me and he was also No. 4. I love my number.”

Regan Gatson, No. 12: “During summer league I chose No. 42 for my jersey because of Jackie Robinson. Then when I played basketball in school No. 42 was too big for me, so I decided to get 24 since it’s just the numbers switched. The problem was my other teammate already had 24, so I picked 12 because it’s half of 24. I love my number, to me it’s just a representation that change is a good thing, and that if you don’t originally get what you want, there’s still something out there good for you.”

Grace Schneider, No. 31: “My coach gave me my number last year at the end of the season and I guess I like it.”

Sam Moburg, No. 33: “This year I was given No. 33. I did not choose it, but I do like the number. My coach asked me if I wanted to be No. 33 because I would get to keep that number until I graduated. I did not think much about No. 33, but earlier in the season I found a note in my basketball bag from former player Destini Mathis that talked about how important No. 33 was to her. After reading the note, I created a better appreciation for the number. Destini was

a role model for the basketball team last year. She worked hard and treated everyone kindly. She was a great all-around player and I am glad I got to spend a season with her. I have come to like the No. 33 because it is a number that carries a lot of history, hard work and determination, and I intend to carry on these qualities with it.”

Grayce Martin, No. 42: “I got my jersey number assigned to me. I don’t really ever get to pick my number (she’s a freshman). I think that the numbers that I’ve had have a special meaning. They’re somewhat special because my numbers have always been the largest ones. That’s just always how it’s been. I like my number because I feel like it represents me as a person. I’m a fairly loud person, and I’m tall, so a large number represents both my personality and stature.”


Leavenworth High girls

Alesia Jones, No. 2: “I chose No. 2 for my basketball number because it is lucky to me. All my family’s  basketball numbers have always had a number two in them. So I decided to just be No. 2.”

Cierra Robinson, No. 15: “When I was a freshman it was the year 2014-2015, so me and Aarika (Lister) decided to be the new year 2015, her being 20 and me being 15.”

McKenzie Brown, No. 43: “I never really am able to choose  my number. It was just given to me along with the (psychological) weight of Rachel Blackburn, No. 43.”


Pleasant Ridge High girls

Paige Robinson, No. 23: “I got stuck with 23 when I was a sophomore and have kept it ever since.”

Kailey Wilburn, No. 4: “I got stuck with No. 4 when I was little and ever since then it has been my favorite number and I have kept it.”

Elaina Rathbone, No. 15: “I picked jersey 15 because it was the only medium left, and I was not going to fit into a small jersey.”

Kaija Nutsch, No. 5: “The No. 5 was just a jersey that I got stuck with my freshman year. But it slowly began to mean more to me than just a number I got stuck with. I wore that jersey the first time I started varsity and at the end of the season when I hurt my knee before sub-state it was hard for me to have to be done for the season. It will always be my high school basketball number.”

Allison Herbig, No. 32: “I have had 32 since my freshman year so that number to me holds many memories throughout my high school seasons playing basketball.”

Caitlyn Herbig, No. 33: “I have jersey 33 because I wanted to have a number close to Allison's (her sister). I also picked this number because I like it and I like numbers that have the same digits.”

Grace Wagner, No. 11: “All through middle school I was 3 but when I got in high school an upper classmate had 3, so I picked 11.”

Lindsey Heim, No. 22: “No. 22 is the number I have had since seventh grade.”

Ellie Seeler, No. 20: “Twenty is a pretty good number. I got No. 20 because I didn't have a choice. Life is short.”

Montanna Adams, No. 10: “It’s the same number I had last year.”