Basketball game turns into an emotional tribute for teen killed in accident near Oakhurst

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Between the empty chair and worn basketball shoes there is no denying that Shania Costella is gone. (KFSN)

Between the empty chair and worn basketball shoes there is no denying that Shania Costella is gone.

"This is our first game since-- and it kind of hit hard," said James Andersen, Yosemite High School JV Basketball Coach.

Less than a week after the Yosemite High School student was killed in a car crash. Her teammates, including one of her sisters, had to get on the court without her.

The game was against their biggest rival Sierra. But despite the competitive match up both teams were playing for more than a win.

"They put everything aside. It's not about the game, it's not about that. They put everything aside for a minute and it meant a lot," said Chad Chapman, Shania's father.

Even on the court Shania's team had a tough time dodging the heartache-- that includes Coach Andersen.

"It's been super tough, never thought I signed up for that. To think that I would have to go through that with my players, but it is nice to be there for them because we preach family and our family goes beyond our school."

For Shania's parents the team presented a signed basketball and flowers. Large posters of Shania were even plastered to the wall. But her parents said the support for their daughter is the best gift they could ever receive.

"She went instantly happy, she fulfilled her life how God wanted her to obviously," said Nina Chapman, Shania's mother.

There was no buzzer beater, no triple overtime win, in fact Sierra won-- by a lot. But this night was not about winning, it was about learning how to deal with loss.

The basketball team said they are going to retire her jersey number 30 so her memory is honored forever.

Related Topics:
societymemorialbasketballhigh schoolmadera countyOakhurst
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