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I didn't do it alone

By JISELLE THOMAS • Aug 2, 2017 at 6:30 PM

When I moved to Norwalk my eighth grade year I would have never thought I’d be where I am today.

Honestly, I did not think I would make it this far and have so many accomplishments.

Before I moved to Norwalk, I lived in Columbus and that’s where basketball really started for me and I learned to love the game. The game was much more physical and aggressive in Columbus so I had to learned to be mentally tough and basically be able to play through a different kind of environment.

My dad would put me in the high school's basketball camps in the 5th grade, but not the girls camps...the boys. That definitely pushed me and made me work so much harder than what I already was. That’s not the only timed I had to play with the boys, I grew up with three older brothers and 3 older cousins who also played basketball.

Bryson Haraway was probably one of my biggest competitors, he always played the best defense and offense on me and still don’t understand why to this day. The couple times that I did beat him and get to the basket was such a huge accomplishment for me because I knew he was the best defender I was going to have to face.

There were a lot of things that I did to improve myself, running the hill in the summer time, running three miles everyday after school, boys open gyms, and driving two hours every week for AAU practice, it all made a huge impact. I would not be where I am without my parents, they have put so much time, money, and patience into basketball for me and I’m so grateful.

Once I got to highschool It definitely was a change for me, the very first game I played against Mansfield Senior, I hit the buzzer beater three to win the game as a freshman, that’s when I realized what I was really capable of. Being the all time leader scorer at norwalk was something I did not expect to ever happen to me, it wasn’t even something I thought about! I still can’t believe I even reached 2,000 points, that was something I honestly never thought would happen.

I remember coming into my freshman year watching Carly Santoro reach 2,000 and I thought it was the craziest thing, something I would never accomplish. Even though I finished with that many points, one of the greatest things that happened had to be the games leading up to and the win at Districts. Adrianna and I had wanted to make a tournament run since freshman year and once senior year came we knew we had all the right pieces.

The team became so close and there was so much positivity we all knew we were on to something great. The very last game we played together was one of the hardest games I’ve ever played. We all wanted to win so badly but we just weren’t hundred percent and you could tell. It was devastating to lose that early compared to how far we wanted to get but to leave being the first ever District Champs? I’ll take it.

As for the next level, I want to grow and become a better shooter and better my handles. The college level is at a much faster pace and the moves that worked in high school won’t always work here. Even though I’ll miss playing with my sisters and my coaches I’m excited for what the future has in store.

As for living up to the family name, if anything I took the things Jeff and Ben accomplished in high school as a challenge. When they won state my freshman year the feeling I got even just standing in the crowd I knew it was something I wanted to feel again but this time I wanted to be that team. I wanted to break the records they set and be able to brag at family dinners. Some people think growing up with mostly boys and being the youngest is something terrible but for me it was a huge blessing.

I had so many people I could look up to and so many things to learn from them It made me who I am today.

It made me stronger, braver, and motivated to be best I could possibly be.

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