“Opportunity… Often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill
Renee is one of our most reliable players and has been a Spartan for 3 years. She’s the 4th in her family I’ve taught, and the 3rd I’ve coached! Of all the kids her her clan, she’s maybe the toughest. Aren’t all youngest kids? Renee’s tenacity and intelligence set her apart from the other guards on our team.
An incredible athlete, Renee is one of our most disciplined athletes. Her footwork is impeccable. (again, a credit to her dedication at summer training sessions. noticing a trend?) She’s one of our lowest defenders. And her balance at coming off the dribble or a move for a shot is better than many high schoolers. While volleyball may be her primary sport, she’s a natural in hoops, and we’re so lucky to call her a teammate. As a coach, I’m fortunate to be able to count on her.
As cited in Kaitlyn’s portrayal last week, Renee was pivotal in one of our most important games. Diving out of bounds to make a save that was recovered for a score seconds later, Renee led a 10-0 run that turned the game around in our favor. She played critical minutes off the bench in our next game, a 3 point struggle on the road against Lisle. Despite not being a starter on this team, Renee has been a big contributor off our bench. She fills in at any of our guard or wing spots, and leads with incredible maturity.
I’m thankful for Renee because, even though basketball is not her sole athletic focus, she’s unbelievably loyal to her teammates and this program. Other players are scoring more points and playing more than her. One of the toughest parts of coaching a great team is having good players play a smaller role. Now, I have a policy to play everyone in every game. I rarely slip up and don’t get everyone in. I’m not perfect at executing that, but, hey, most coaches don’t even try. While Renee is competitive and wants to play more, she continues to practice hard, ask good questions, be a vocal teammate, and, most importantly, perform when called upon. As a result, at the most difficult time of the season, Renee’s playing time and role has never been bigger. She never became negative and let it affect her attitude.
I define a successful teammate and player on those metrics. I’m proud of Renee’s tenacity on the floor, but also in how she does everything. It’s made a big difference at small moments of games, but also in this whole team’s development. Renee’s maturity and dedication to her basketball team isn’t just helping build a Championship Atmosphere, it’s also put Renee in a position to contribute and help this team accomplish its goals. What more could a coach ask for? This is one of those great lessons that sports can teach us. Opportunity may be hard to find, but when you’re always doing your best, and with the right attitude, it just happens to find you.