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White continues to succeed in the game of basketball

Jones basketball player Sakyia White is a top scorer on the women’s basketball team, but her start in the game came out of boredom in the 7th grade.

“I did it as something fun, an extracurricular after school because I was bored. Some friends talked me into it. I actually didn’t know anything about the sport,” said White. “I kind of sucked.”

While her skills were not immediate, White said that her coach at Central High School, Michael Rivers, saw a potential that White did not see within herself at the time.

“He just believed in me and what I could do,” said White. “That kind of molded me into the person and player that I am today.”

White left high school with a championship under her belt before attending the University of North Alabama, where she was awarded ASUN Freshman of the Year. However, White found that the university was not the correct fit and decided to leave after spring break. Not long after, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Jones, Missy Bilderback, reached out to White through Olivia Knight, who plays guard at Jones.

“Olivia had left to come here, told Coach B about me, and Coach B contacted me,” said White. “I have a good relationship with Coach B that I didn’t really have with my previous coach. I feel comfortable here. It is very easy to make new friends, everyone is easy to get along with, and I really love it here.”

Alongside her love for basketball, White’s favorite thing off the court is the sisterhood shared between each team member.

“You make a family wherever you are. You always have a family no matter what. They become your sisters that you will have for a lifetime,” said White.

White brings those lessons that she learned, on and off the court with her fellow teammates, home to her own family.

“I have five younger siblings, and through basketball, I learned that I have to watch what I do, the things that I say and learn to be a better leader,” said White. “The things that I do will affect not only my team but my siblings as well. They look up to me, and they might want to be like me, so I have to set a good example.”

The sport that White decided to try one day during 7th grade has brought her over two hours away from home and will only continue to take her further. After graduating Jones, White will attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she is committed to play.

With big dreams and endless opportunities, White plans to follow wherever her career takes her.

“A lot of people ask me if I’ve ever thought about playing overseas or going into the NBA, but I’ve never thought that far,” said White. “I’m honestly just going back D1 and seeing where that leads me.”

by Megan Matthews

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