Basil’s captain getting most out of senior year

Jules Gura did special things for the school’s soccer and basketball teams.

Jules Gura, a Rhawnhurst native, shows off the trophy after St. Basil’s defeated North Schuylkill 57–39 to win the 1–11 Class 3A District championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jules Gura loves representing her school.

And this year, she’s making sure to do it as many times as possible.

In the fall, the St. Basil’s Academy High School senior helped lead the Panthers to the state championship soccer game.

The long run might not have ended with a title, but it did extend her soccer season until the last possible date.

“It was great, especially because of how close the entire school is,” said Gura, who played fullback. “The best part about this school is how all of the teachers and all of the students support each other.

“I think we knew we had a chance to have a great year because we had a lot of girls that came in as freshmen and were still playing together four years later. We had a good team and we knew that if we played well, we could do well. But making (the state final) was great. It was special.”

Now, she’s doing something special in basketball.

Gura, a Rhawnhurst native, has the Basil’s basketball team rolling along. The team will begin play in the state tournament this week after capping off a successful district tournament last week.

The Panthers defeated North Schuylkill 57–39 in the District 1–11 Class 3A finals. Gura scored 11 points, while Casey Remolde led the team with 17. Denae Carter chipped in with 11 points as Basil knocked off the 23-win squad. The Panthers will now meet West Philadelphia, the fifth seed from District 12, on Friday at 6 p.m. at Central Bucks West.

For Gura, it means there’s the potential for another long run through the playoffs.

Last year, the Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. They were led by Natalie Kucowski, who is now starring at Lafayette College.

This year’s team doesn’t have that star, but they are faring just as well.

“Natalie was great, but now that she’s not here, a lot of other people are doing a lot,” Gura said. “We all kind of play the same position. We have a lot of taller players, so we don’t have one girl playing her role, we’re all kind of helping out.

“I think it does make us tougher to stop because we have a lot of players who can score. We play together, and I think that’s what makes us such a strong team.”

Due to her size (she stands 5-feet-10) and ball-handling ability, Gura is able to play just about any position on the floor. She also contributes to the cause by serving as a captain and mentoring the younger players on the squad.

This summer, she’ll get more practice as a leader when she serves as an assistant coach with the Rebels Basketball Academy, a club based out of Newtown.

“I think it will be fun,” Gura said. “I’ll stress defense and I’ll stress everybody has to hustle. That’s what works best for me. Even when I’m not having a great game, usually I just hustle and good things will happen. That’s how I play, and I would like to coach that way.”

Perhaps the players should pay close attention.

Not only has Gura been able to build a great reputation on the high school level, she also got looks from colleges and prior to the start of the season, she committed to continue her career at the University of the Sciences.

“The reason I wanted to go there the most is because it’s a great academic school,” Gura said. “I really wanted to go there, and I really liked the basketball program, too. It had everything I was looking for. I’m happy I was able to get it over with before the season so I didn’t have to worry about that. I just had to play.”

She also didn’t have to pick out a major. She plans on studying physical therapy and has known this for a few years.

“I’ve always liked sciences, I loved biology, it’s something I’m interested in,” said Gura, who is also on student council at her school. “And I know how much a physical therapist can mean to an athlete. I had tendonitis in my knee, so I had to do it. I felt like it’s a really meaningful job and it lets me stay connected with athletics.”

But before she starts studying biology in college, she hopes the chemistry she has with her teammates guides the Panthers to a state championship.

Or at least lets her put on that Basil’s jersey a few more times.

“We have a really young team, but we have some seniors who want to win,” Gura said. “I think they’ll be good for a long time, but we want to keep this season going. We have great chemistry and great coaching. They have us ready. We are just trying to win the next game.” ••