Sister Act

Growing up in Queens Village, the three Sidney sisters were avid dancers. Elon, Jelleah and Brianna did forms of all kinds, from hip-hop to ballet.
However, their mom, Annarie, was a sports enthusiast. She played basketball and excelled in track.
Annarie noticed her three daughters’ athleticism through dance. One day, she decided to make a change.
“I got them into sports and they kind of grasped it real quick,” she said.
Indeed, they did - and have, particularly in basketball, where the three are not only on the highly rated St. Michael Academy team but two - Elon, 18, and Jelleah, 16 - start, while Brianna, 15, and only a freshman, comes off the bench.
“It is rare,” St. Michael Coach Apache Paschall said, “because all three are going to be Division I players. Christ the King was trying to get them, Francis Lewis was trying to get them, and even [Murry] Bergtraum was trying to get them. These kids were sought after since the oldest one was in eighth grade.”
Elon was the first to make the transition from dance to basketball. Her younger sister, Jelleah, soon followed. While those two would attend practices, the youngest of the three, Brianna, would mess around on the sideline.
One day soon, she may be the best of them all. She is already the luckiest.
Jelleah and Elon have each suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments, injuries that ruin most careers. Elon recently returned from her second torn ACL, yet still may be looking at a scholarship form Northeastern University.
As the oldest, Elon is the wiser of the three. When Annarie is not around, she picks up the motherly role, advising and guiding. She is calm and often quiet.
“Where I go, they follow,” Elon said. “I have to lead by example.”
Jelleah is the “Ron Artest of the three,” according to Paschall, a boisterous, take-no-prisoners, social butterfly.
The two cannot be more different. They like different foods and colors in addition to having different styles of play on the court. At a springy 6-foot-1, Jelleah is a beast on the glass, a long, athletic wing with an affinity for offensive rebounds and stick backs. Elon, a 5-foot-10 guard, is calm and composed with good range and court smarts.
Brianna is a combination of the two. The 5-foot-7 guard is shy, but will open up when comfortable. She is a perimeter player with a well-built frame, not typical of most freshmen.
She started playing basketball at a younger age because of her two older sisters, a great benefit. She has seen the two make mistakes and learned from them. When Paschall first met Jelleah and Elon, in sixth grade at the time, he had to teach them such basics as dribbling with either hand and shooting a jump shot. However, by that age, Brianna already had those skills.
Jelleah admits Brianna has the potential to surpass her. Elon puts her two sisters ahead of her anyway, so she says they are the best. Annarie would not rate them, though. They all play different positions, anyway, she points out.
“They all just love to play together,” Annarie said. “They are each other’s best fans.”
“She loves the way she plays,” she added, pointing to each daughter, “she loves the way she plays, she loves the way she plays.”
More importantly, the triumvirate will likely get a free education with help from one another. Theirs is a bond built through blood and hard work. They take pride in their name, in playing at a high basketball level at St. Michael and one day at the collegiate level.
“It’s important for us,” Jelleah said, “to represent our name.”

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