8th-grader already top player for Grace Academy girls hoops

Heidi Impola may be just an eighth-grader, but she’s already the Grace Academy girls basketball team’s top player.

“She can drain a 3-pointer at any time, and she has the size to bang around inside,” Eagles coach Steve Hume said of the 5-foot-10 Impola. “She should be the best player to ever come out of Grace Academy, and should (eventually) be one of the top (Class) B players in the state. She’ll be our leader for years to come, that’s for sure.”

Impola is one of two eighth-grade starters for Grace Academy (8-8 overall, 6-6 Northwest 1B League), which also starts two freshmen. The Eagles lost the services of Ashley VanDam, their best player a year ago, to a preseason knee injury, but have been buoyed by junior guard Sam Vandervel, who is “the heart and soul of the team,” Hume said. “As she goes, the team goes.

“Considering our youth, we’re doing real well. The girls are raw, but they’re working hard and sticking to fundamentals. They’re learning how to play basketball while having fun doing it.”

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