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Sabrina Helm proves that hard work is the backbone of high school sports

Sabrina Helm, senior varsity captain for Paramus High School (winter 2013-2014).
Sabrina Helm, senior varsity captain for Paramus High School (winter 2013-2014).
Dennis Helm

Sabrina Helm is a 5'3" senior who played the post position for Paramus High School for four years. Her role greatly changed from junior to senior year.

"I was a definitive JV player <the first three years of high school basketball>, but through hard work I became a varsity starter," shared Sabrina.

As a basketball player, Sabrina made a major transformation from junior to senior year in skill, conditioning, and basketball IQ.

This year, despite her height, she often had the task of guarding and boxing out much taller opponents. For example, Emerson's Jenni Cella and Northern Highlands' Melissa Heath. Sabrina stepped up to this challenge every game. She confidently communicated to teammates, worked to box out, and played to her potential.

Prior to senior year, Sabrina knew how to do one post move, but never did it during games. Now, she is able to do at least six different moves during games. Prior to senior year, she was able to run a play and pass to open teammates. Now, she can make quick decisions on offense based on the positioning of the defense, even outside of plays. She can also communicate to teammates about where they should be to help optimize their chances of scoring. She understands the game.

She did all this by playing AAU basketball in the off-season, attending basketball clinics, and by practicing on her own. In other words: through hard work.

Sabrina shared, "If I could go back in time to four years ago, I would have had higher expectations for myself. I would have sought out help earlier to improve my game." She further explained, "I would have joined a team in the off-season before high school and dedicated the same time I did junior year. This is not only because I improved so much, but also because of the many new friendships I made. I know if I had done it earlier, I would have been much more successful in basketball. Plus, I would have met many more people."

She gives the following advice to 8th graders and other high school players:

  • Join AAU: play in the off-season!
  • Go to clinics with different instructors.
  • Practice on your own! Make sure you know moves and drills that you can do on your own without anyone else there. You will not always have someone with which to practice.

In addition to being a major component on the Paramus High School varsity team, Sabrina was also the team captain. As a team leader, she says, "You have to improve yourself and help others improve. You have to be responsible for everyone."

Sabrina offers one last bit of advice, "Play for yourself and to better yourself, don't underestimate yourself and WORK HARD!"

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