Soon after the 3:20 p.m. bell rings, shoe squeaks and piercing whistle blows can be heard from the Strom Thurmond High School gymnasium. Achieving excellence on the basketball court requires hard work, and the 2016–2017 STHS seniors are unafraid of sweat and commitment. In addition to athletics, STHS basketball seniors demonstrate leadership in academics and extra-curricular activities.
LaKayla Adams, Ashlee Chinn, and Regina Miles lead the STHS Girls Varsity Basketball Team. Without relying on height, they consistently put points on the board through hustle, three-pointers, turn-overs, and rebounding. In addition, the student athletes maintain good grades. Chinn was awarded the WJBF Scholar Athlete Award and is a member of the Millennium Club, whose members must make at least 1,000 on the SAT. Adams is a member of Beta Club and is active in her church. Miles loves to sing and is considering a university degree in sociology.
Chinn, after reflecting on her four years playing on the hard woods, commented, “The number one reason I enjoy playing basketball is because of the sisterhood I have formed with these girls, and I know our friendship reaches way beyond the court.” Adams commented, “Basketball is fun, competitive, and a great way to build life-long friendships.” Miles smiled and said, “I love the relationships I have with my teammates and coaches.”
The STHS Boys Basketball Team is led this year by a group of five: Bryston Butler, Tyrese Holloway, Richard Holmes, Tyrece’ Nick, and Jamal Stevens. Each brings something special to the court and to the STHS community. Butler led the STHS award-winning Rebel Regiment Band this year as Drum Major. He also plays baseball and is taking two dual-enrollment college courses. Butler commented, “All of the guys on the team have become my brothers, and whether we win or lose, we always have each other’s backs.” Holloway commented, “I love the game of basketball. When I work out, I even enjoy the pain. I work hard in the classroom, too, and have a beautiful one-year-old daughter, Kayleigh.” Nick has been offered a number of full-ride scholarships for his talent on the football field. He plans to sign with a team on February first. Holmes plays every day like it is his last. He commented, “I enjoy playing for my family and friends in the bleachers.” Stevens, another multi-sport athlete, also plays baseball. He keeps his grades up and is as yet undecided about which college he will attend in the Fall.
When asked about the benefits of playing high school basketball, Landon Booker, STHS Guidance Counselor and Head Coach of the Girls Varsity Basketball team, commented, “Other than staying in peak physical shape, playing basketball teaches many life skills such as teamwork, time management, adjusting to varying situations, achieving goals, controlling your emotions, and lastly understanding that being successful requires hard work.” Without a doubt, basketball is an important tool for developing thinking, personal, and relational skills needed for continued success in our changing world.
STHS Senior Basketball Players. Back row are Bryston Butler, Tyrece’ Nick, Richard Holmes, Jamal Stevens, and Tyrese Holloway. Front row are Ashlee Chinn, Regina Miles, and LaKayla Adams.