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Passion on the Court

Mar 10, 2016 10:58AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Jessica Thompson | Jessica@mycityjournals.com

Taylorsville -  It may have seemed Taylorsville High’s boys basketball team would lose to West Jordan in their region game on Jan. 20. At halftime the team was trailing by 11 points, but Aaron Canepari and Crosby Bringhurst weren’t going to let a lose happen for their team. 

Bringhurst, a junior, made a three pointer to send the game into overtime. With 0.5 seconds left on the clock, Canepari made two free throws that helped his team steal the victory from West Jordan. This win kept the Warriors in line for the play offs. 

“My favorite aspect of basketball is how fast paced it is. I like how in basketball somethings is always happening and momentum can swing for a team at any minute,” Canepari said.

Canepari is the Warriors’ point guard and has been one of the leading scorers for the last two years. 

“When I’m playing basketball I just feel happy. I’ve always seen the court as an escape from the day to day life. When you’re out there playing you don’t have to worry about anything, you just get lost in the game,” Canepari said.

Being a part of a team has taught Canepari how to work well with others and accountability. He has learned that his actions on and off the court affect him as well has his teammates. 

“You only get what you work hard for. If you aren’t willing to put in time perfecting your craft during the off season then you won’t see positive results individually or with your team during the on season. Basketball has taught me that if you want something bad enough, you have to go work for it and earn it,” he said. 

Canepari’s coach, Garrett Wilson, took over as head coach two years ago and said Canepari is just as good of a person off the court as he is on the court. 

“Aaron has been team leader both in his attitude and work ethic as well as his skills as a basketball player. Away from basketball he is really the model citizen that I want my younger players looking up. He is just such a good person off the court that it makes me proud as a coach to have him represent our team. I couldn’t ask for a better senior leader,” Wilson said.

Last fall, Taylorsville High School got a surprise all the way from Lithuania. Tomas Armonavicius is a senior foreign exchange student who is now the shooting guard and point guard. 

“Tomas is a great shooter. He has the ability to stretch defenses out because he can shoot it one, two steps from behind the arch. He is an ultimate competitor as well. He has had to learn a whole new system and has done a remarkable job with earning his place, not only as a team member, but as a starter. He works extremely hard and is very coachable,” Wilson said.

Armonavicius’ very first game in America was against Lehi High School where Taylorsville lost 91 to 117. 

“I think in this game we showed really good offense and there was a lot of passion,” Armonavicius said. “The best part of basketball is the game is a team sport. If you want to win games, you can’t be selfish or think about yourself.” 

“It has been a great privilege to coach these two as well as the rest of the guys on our team. I am constantly being told from opposing coaches that they are impressed how hard my guys work for me. Not having to fight that battle makes my job so much easier as a coach. They listen to what I say and they work so hard to do it. This really is a great place to be,” Wilson said.  

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