Senior India Cage helped the Gardena Panthers girl’s basketball team win a Division IV City Section Championship (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

After helping the Gardena Panthers girl’s basketball team win a City Section Division IV championship, senior India Cage already knew what is next for her.

“After this, I’m going to track,” Cage said. “I actually play every sport.”

Cage transferred from Washington Prep to Gardena for her senior year. Transfer rules would keep her from competing with the team until January.

“I had to sit out for a very long time,” Cage said. “Seeing my team struggle without me, even seeing them win without me, it was just like “dang, I wish I was a part of it.””

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Her efforts would give Gardena a 16-10 overall record and a 6-4 Marine League record. She enjoyed helping the Panthers defeat the Fremont Highlanders 54-12 in the Division IV title match.

“Last year, I was at Washington and we went to the championship but we lost,” Cage said. “Coming here again and getting to another championship and winning, that means a lot for me.”

Last year the Generals girl’s basketball team lost 37-69 to the Vaughn White Tigers in the City Section Division III championship. Cage mentioned how heartbreaking the defeat was. The experience taught her the importance of remaining calm throughout the highs and lows of the title match this season.

“Last year, I broke down and cried during the game,” Cage said. “Me keeping my cool, even when the game was close … meant a lot because I know if I didn’t, it was gonna be the same repeat of last year.”

In track and field, she competes in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m. Competing in relays helped improve her patience.

“You can’t get mad, you got to have patience with the whole team,” Cage said. “Everybody got to go at their own pace.”

Cage enjoys being a student athlete because people admire their ability to complete their obligations at a high level.

“I know some people look at us like it’s cool how they can multitask,” she said.  “How they could be in the gym, be on the court, be outside, whatever and you can still have good grades.”

As Cage continues to compete and contend as an athlete, she is continuing to work on her attitude and practicing patience.