Athlete of the Month: Irene Haramis


Photo courtesy of Irene Haramis.

Shooting guard Irene Haramis shoots a three-pointer during her freshman season. Despite not on court this season due to injury, Haramis looks forward to playing again at Dickinson College.

By Jeremy Chung, Assistant News Editor

The WCHS girls varsity basketball team is hard at work in the gym six days a week for two hours a day, even during days off of school. While most players practice free throws or three-point field goals, there is one familiar face you will see cheering and joking with her teammates from the bleachers. That face is senior Irene Haramis.

“I started playing basketball at age five,” Haramis said. “I would play [one on one] against my older brother on our driveway. He would always beat me, and I had such a competitive attitude, so I would always want to keep on playing.”

Haramis has been on the varsity team throughout her four years at WCHS as a shooting guard. This competitive attitude would make Haramis fall in love with basketball and leave an impact on and off the court.

“I’ve known Irene since my freshman year at the beginning of the 2019-20 season…and she is a fantastic teammate!”WCHS junior guard Dillan George said. “Her humor and passion for the game of basketball shine through in her interactions with the team. She positively impacts everyone she talks to. I would describe her as motivated, hard-working and, most importantly, a bucket.”

For Haramis, training is no easy task as she typically spends most of her time grinding on the court, even during the pandemic and off-season.

“I was playing for a club team primarily since we didn’t have a high school season, so I would practice with that team two to three times a week plus games on the weekends,” Haramis said. “In my extra time, I would put up shots at the outdoor hoops at Hoover or go to the gym to work on strengthening.”

Unfortunately, Haramis will not be playing on the court this season, as she tore her ACL in September. This prevented Haramis from walking onto the court as a Bulldog one last time. She last played in her sophomore year, as last year’s season was canceled due to COVID-19.

“Some of my best memories of high school come from my underclassmen years on the team,” Haramis said. “When I injured myself at first, it was super hard to accept the fact that I would not be playing. I was frustrated and angry and wasn’t sure how I was going to last another year without playing.”

During her sophomore year, the team went on a hot streak to stay undefeated and contend for the state championships that year, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the team being awarded co-state champions, they were considered the favorite to win the title.

“It was really heartbreaking [to have the game canceled]. We had been preparing for that game all year, and we all knew we had a big shot at winning the championship,” Haramis said. “I feel like it made us this year work harder since we still have the desire to win states.”

Despite the many adversities and hardships she had to endure with the team, Haramis has displayed many lifelong memories and accomplishments in her high school career. Most notably, she recalls having team Dunkin Donuts and California Tortilla runs after Saturday morning practices and the team’s pregame rituals in the locker room.

“My favorite memory with Irene includes cutting down the net with our team after being co-state champs and having team dinners,” George said.

In her freshman and sophomore years, Haramis played a crucial role in helping the team win 46 of the 49 games she played in and two division titles. She made 74 percent of field throws attempted, obtained 71 rebounds, garnered 40 assists and scored 116 points during the season. 

Although Haramis will not be able to play this season, this has not stopped her from participating on the team, as Haramis still attends every practice and game, cheering her teammates on.

“[Even though I’m not playing this season], I feel like I am still making the most of the season and am enjoying it,” Haramis said. “I don’t have a role on the court this season, but I am doing the most to get the team excited and provide encouragement off the court.”

Since no live spectators are allowed during the games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Haramis is one of the only people in the stands cheering on the team. However, that has not affected the same success WCHS’ girls varsity basketball team has seen since the 2020 season. The team has a 13-2 record as of Feb. 3 and has a clear shot at the playoffs, possibly winning states, as they had previously planned.

As for Haramis’s plans for the future, she has been recruited to play Division III basketball at Dickinson College, where she will study business and law.

“Over quarantine, I started my own business training young girls in basketball. From that, I grew knowledge in business marketing and really enjoyed it,” Haramis said. “I am most looking forward to getting back on the court again! I missed two of my high school seasons so I am excited to finally represent my school again.”