Leadership born from experience
When three year letter winner Samantha Paterson looks at the rest of her team and only sees one fellow senior, Morgan Kenney, and four freshmen, she doesn't feel like this season is a lost cause.
She just laces up her shoes tight and goes to work.
Like most athletes in high school Paterson has been waiting for her senior year since she became a Bobcat, and she plans on leading her young team on and off the court.
"Even though we're really young, I still think we can be really good," Paterson said. "I really love being a leader, I like making sure people are doing what they are supposed to."
Paterson has been playing basketball since she was five years old, and has a real passion for the game. Basketball has helped her get through the good and the bad times of her life, making her the person she is today.
"When my parents got divorced I used to go out and shoot baskets with my dad for hours, it helped me get through that."
Despite Paterson's aspirations to continue on playing basketball in college, she feels that the sport doesn't define her, she defines herself with the way she plays, with hustle, grit, determination and leadership.
While the skills she's acquired have helped her on the court, off the court they have helped as well. Paterson works, plays basketball, and goes to school, crossing that line that most high school students, and some college students don't cross, and most athletes dare not try especially during season.
Paterson is a hostess at Keds Mountain Grill, and admits that she probably doesn't get as much sleep as she should. She feels she can handle the pressures of being a working student athlete, keeping up B's in the class room and three's on the court.
"It's difficult to work and be a student athlete, sometimes I have a hard time keeping up," Paterson said. "But I have a lot of fun and being a basketball player helps me be better at my job."
While her boss probably isn't screaming in her ear to box out all the time, her head coach Mardy Robinson is, but as loving as possible.
"With the young girls as talented as they are, playing time isn't going to be decided on age but ability," Robinson said.
Even though her coach can be tough at times, the key to Patersons success may have been the relationship she developed with head coach Robinson over the past four years.
"She's a great coach (of Robinson), on and off the floor. She really pushes me on the court and can be tough sometimes," Paterson said. "But I know I can talk to her about anything off the court. The way she coaches really makes me want to play my hardest."
Paterson has started every game, and with the help of some talented freshman, the Lady Bobcats are 2-2, heading into tomorrow's game with rival Bonner Springs.
Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the BLHS gymnasium.
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