By Madisen Carter
The Archbishop Mitty High School’s women's basketball team has had success on the court for many years and is ranked one of the best programs in the nation. The program has produced many talented athletes including NCAA Champion Haley Jones, and it continues to produce stars to take their talents to the next level in college basketball. The program’s most recent success has been through senior Noemie Bariteau as she committed to play D1 basketball at Seattle University on October 2nd.
Bariteau started playing basketball in the first grade after her sister started playing the game. She instantly fell in love with basketball and wanted to continue through her middle school career, leading her to Archbishop Mitty where she joined the Varsity basketball team her freshman year. She knew early on that college basketball was something she wanted to be a part of.
“[Committing] felt so unreal. I was like, wow. I'm just so blessed to even get an offer,” Bariteau said. “It's been my dream since I was younger to play basketball in college, so to get a D1 offer, it's crazy to me. It really felt unreal but I’m so happy about it, it's awesome.”
The recruitment process was an awesome experience Bariteau explained. Her first and only visit was in late September, and right away she knew she wanted to commit to Seattle University. She said the school fit her well and she loved the coaches, her teammates and the city right away. The next week she announced her commitment.
“The coaches were just so so kind. They're super funny as well actually, and I just love being with them. They treated me so well,” Bariteau said. “Then when I hung out with my teammates, they were super nice and I [could] see myself playing with them… When I went to practice, I just totally felt like I could fit in their offense.”
Bariteau’s teammate on the Monarchs, Makayla Moore, also committed to Seattle University on October 2nd. Bariteau and Moore visited Seattle University together and even had the chance to take some of their official pictures together. The pair have been teammates on Varsity since their sophomore year of high school, and Bariteau said she is excited to play on the court with Moore in college.
“It's awesome having another teammate going there as well. It's going to be fun because we already know how we both play on and off the court,” Bariteau said.
Bariteau is excited to start playing with the Redhawks and has some goals in mind that she wants to accomplish. She said that she would love to make it to the NCAA Tournament, but her main focus is just doing her part on the team to help them be successful.
“[During] my freshman year, I just want to be able to help my team out and just to get the farthest we can,” Bariteau said. “I love winning, so I want to help my team win and just have fun.”
In the past few years, Bariteau and the Monarchs have been extremely successful. All the seasons Bariteau has been on the team, Archbishop Mitty has finished first in the West Catholic Athletic League. They finished last season with an overall record of 13-2 and Bariteau finished with a total of 71 points, 43 rebounds, 33 assists and 24 blocks in 15 games.
Now that Bariteau is a senior, she is ready to take on a leadership role and help her team reach even bigger milestones. She said she has the full confidence in her team that they will make it to the State Championship this upcoming season.
“I definitely feel like all the seniors have gone through a lot these past four years. We’re super dedicated, so I feel like we're all happy to be seniors now and have that moment to help lead our younger players and even the seniors around us,” Bariteau said. “I think we're just excited to hopefully make it super far. We're just going to keep pushing each other to make ourselves the best that we can be.”
The Monarchs started their tryouts this week and will start pre-season play in late November and throughout December. The team is even taking a trip to Hawaii in December for a tournament. Until then, Bariteau will be practicing and preparing with her team for the regular season starting in January and to get to their main goal: The State Championship.
Bariteau said that the game puts her in a whole different headspace, and she loves being on the court helping out her teammates and living in the moment. Her love for basketball developed instantly when she first started playing the game, and it will continue to grow.
“It's just a whole different world for me, and I can just get all my stress out. I don't have to think about anything outside of basketball,” Bariteau said. “I can just play out with my heart on that court.”
Smith has been with UPB for a few weeks now and is helping with group training and private training. He said he has enjoyed seeing the variety of different athletes that come into the gym from division I college basketball players all the way down to three year olds. He said group training has been his favorite part so far, being able to interact with a lot of different athletes and helping them improve throughout the sessions.