Trib HSSN girls basketball player of the week for week ending Jan. 23, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 6:34 PM

The saying at Thomas Jefferson High School is “Tradition never graduates.”

Star players do, though.

Jaguars senior Graci Fairman is one of the leading scorers in the district, averaging more than 21 points per game.

The girls basketball coach is Lisa Fairman, Graci’s Mom.

It has been another successful season thus far for TJ, as they sit in second place, one game behind Tirnity, in Section 3-5A.

“Being able to coach Graci the last four years has truly been a blessing,” Lisa Fairman said. “I find myself at times thinking of all the wonderful memories and accomplishments this team has achieved over the years, and I’m so grateful to be able to share in those with Graci.

“We came into this season much like every other, and that is to simply give it our all. I know on senior recognition night, I will have some tears for sure. It’s been a great ride.

Graci Fairman, a Wheeling University recruit, began last week scoring 25 points in a 64-37 nonsection victory over West Mifflin on Tuesday.

“Graci’s performance came with a lot of help from her team,” Coach Fairman said. “We pressed them and forced turnovers, which turned into points for us. She is a true leader on the court and has a nice balance of creating driving lanes to finish and knowing when to pass when the defense helps.”

Two days later, it was another runaway victory for the Jaguars, this time a 34-point section win over visiting Connellsville.

“We started off slow in the first quarter,” Lisa Fairman said. “Graci just kind of took over after that, and we picked up the tempo and had some nice transition points. Graci has worked very hard to be a multi-threat player. Being able to score from the 3-point arc along with creating off the dribble to attack the rim and I think she did that very well again Connellsville. When a player can drive and shoot the 3 on offense, it makes it hard to defend.”

In Graci’s freshman season, Thomas Jefferson lost in the WPIAL finals and reached the PIAA semifinals.

The Jaguars reached the 5A semifinals two years ago and the quarterfinals last season.

Lisa Fairman said her daughter worked hard on all aspects of her game to help this year’s team continue to win.

“I am so proud of Graci. She works so hard and takes pride in her defense. On the offensive end, she sees the floor very well and has the ability to beat players off the dribble to create scoring opportunities for the team. Our staff and team can always trust that Graci will give us 110% all the time. She is such a competitor who loves the game and gives her team all she has.”

That leadership quality Graci brings has been much needed this season. She is the lone senior on a younger team that continues to improve.

“We have such a great ‘team and family mentality’ on this team, so there really hasn’t been any pressure on Graci, because she knows her team is working hard and playing together,” Lisa Fairman said. “The younger players see her work ethic, and it has become contagious to those around her in which has helped us get better.”

The Jaguars have a big week coming up as they visit third-place Albert Gallatin on Monday, then host first-place Trinity on Thursday.

“I see our team getting better and better each game,” Lisa Fairman said. “I’m excited to see these girls turn it on and have a great run in playoffs.”

2022 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Players of the Week

Week 4: Corynne Hauser, Rochester

Week 3: Aislin Malcolm, Chartiers Valley

Week 2: Julia Ogrodowski, Beth-Center

Week 1: Morgan Altavilla, Baldwin


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