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Basketball journeys come full circle for four standouts in West Michigan

MBA 2022 prepares for final tournament together
Four MBA players smile before a game
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 20:48:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Four of the top girls basketball players from West Michigan have all played travel basketball together since sixth grade.

Now, their hard work is paying off ahead of their senior season of high school.

Theryn Hallock of Forest Hills Central, West Catholic's Abbey Kimball, Alli Carlson of East Grand Rapids and Hudsonville's Alaina Diaz have all become extremely close playing summer basketball with one another.

"It's fun to see your friends become successful and cheer them on as you're getting noticed yourself," Kimball smiled.

Top players building bond during summer basketball

Kimball and Hallock are both committed to play basketball at Michigan State while Carlson will play at Western Michigan and Diaz is uncommitted with five basketball offers, while also considering track and field.

"We've created a really big family that has been happening for many, many years," Diaz said, "it's going to be sad when the season is over because I'm never going to be playing with these girls again."

Four MBA players smile before a game
From left to right: Theryn Hallock, Abbey Kimball, Alli Carlson and Alaina Diaz.

Hallock says it's emotional to see how far they've all come in the several years of playing together.

"It's heartwarming," Hallock added, "we've all put in so much work, lifting, running, practices, all of it."

Their MBA 2022 basketball team has been extremely successful over the years, especially this summer.

The team is now a part of the Under Armour Circuit as they play in the national tournament in Pennsylvania this weekend as one of only 32 teams in the country competing for the championship.

"There's definitely pressure because we're new to the circuit," Carlson admitted, "we're just going to try to prove ourselves, but we played really well at the last tournament."

Young players of MBA
The four players during the summer after sixth grade.

Hallock says as one of just a few Michigan teams invited, they're going to try to represent.

"We're really excited, we're going to represent Michigan and hopefully come out to win a championship."

The sisterhood on the team won't be easy for the players to forget.

"It's been special," Kimball said, "the families, the community, the friendships we've built over the years is really insane."

MBA Basketball 2022 walks out
Alaina Diaz (23), Theryn Hallock (4), Alli Carlson (3) and Maddie Long (44).

The memories between the four, along with Jada Washington of East Kentwood and Grand Haven players Zoe Spoelman and Molly Long will live on.

"To be with them for this long, we've all grown really close and it's been really nice to play with my best friends," Carlson said.

With their last tournament together this weekend, it's already beginning to set in what a crazy ride it has been.

MBA 2022 girls basketball
Left to right: Alli Carlson, Abbey Kimball, Theryn Hallock.

"I've cried the past month, it's going to be really hard and emotional week," chuckled Hallock.

"Yeah, I'm sure they'll be a couple of tears," Diaz added.

The team is a one-seed at Spooky Nook in Manheim, Pennsylvania this weekend as they look to bring home one final championship.