On Jan. 6, 2024, Senior Guard Paige Atwater passed 1,000 career points with the Weeki Wachee Hornets. She accomplished this feat against the Hernando Leopards during the New Year’s Tournament at River Ridge High School on Saturday. The player with the number 1 jersey became only the fourth player in Hornets Girls’ Basketball history to reach this milestone. Atwater’s head coach at Weeki Wachee, Billy Hughes, was effusive in his praise for the senior and feels her team at the next level “got a gem!”
The senior scored 15 points against the Leopards on Saturday and would reach the 1,000-point threshold with the first of her 5 three-pointers that evening. Atwater and Freshman Marlee Schumacher (17 points) led the Hornets to a 48-29 decimation of the Purple and Gold at the tournament. The senior guard and the Hornets are heading into the last stretch of an 11-4 season and will travel to take on the Lecanto Panthers on Wednesday.
As Atwater is getting ready to complete her senior season, she plans to attend St. Leo University and be a member of their basketball team next year. Coach Hughes spoke with the Sun on Tuesday about the senior’s achievement and the type of player she has become:
How did Atwater perform at the tournament?
“She performed great all tournament. When number 1 is on the court, everyone knows where she is from the fans in the stand to the coaching staffs.”
How proud are you as a coach of what she has accomplished?
“As a coach, words can’t describe how proud I am of her.”
How has she grown as a player to get to where she is now?
“From every practice, every game, every year/season, Paige has grown into a tremendous player. She still has so many tricks in her bag she’s yet to pull out.”
What is her work ethic like on and off the court?
“Paige’s work ethic is unbelievable. Her dedication to the sport and her games is second to none. She is constantly in the gym, working on her game. Champions are made when no one is watching… defines Paige! Countless hours in the gym, no one around besides her teammates, coaches, and parents. True gym rat. This 1,000-point milestone shows her hard work paying off, and still hungry for more.”
The senior guard is the first to reach the mark since the Hornets’ loaded senior class of 2019. This featured the trio of G Mykenna Corbett, PF Seytia Hill, and SF Shayleese Vazquez. Corbett is first all-time with 1,474 points, second is Hill (1,239), then Vazquez (1,218), and the newest member of the group has 1,013 points.
Across her three years of varsity play, Paige has knocked down 219 shots from beyond the arch and sunk another 84 from the free throw line. She has also racked up 25 blocks, 125 rebounds, 125 assists, and 154 steals, according to Maxpreps.com. With one of the strongest careers since the inception of Hornets’ Girls Basketball in 2011, Atwater has forever etched her name in Weeki Wachee sports history.
“Paige’s legacy in the Weeki Wachee Girls Basketball Program will never be forgotten,” said Coach Hughes.