Photos by SUMMER HAMPTON
Amidst the crazy 2020 year we’ve just had, some great opportunities have opened up for a few players on Hernando High’s girls basketball team. Covid-19 has caused complications for sports of all kinds, but to push through and prosper is what Hernando County knows best and continues to do.
Looking towards the future, Leopard seniors Sabrina Carter, Christiana Campbell Triplett, Marissa Foulks, and Calviona Hagood have all signed with the Tigers Trinity College basketball team.
Here is a look into these HHS girls basketball players who have taken the next step in their basketball careers.
Christiana Campbell Triplett plays the position of the post (center). She’s been playing basketball for about 5 years, but says she started to take it seriously this past year. She states, “It was a battle of military or college ball and I decided to play college ball.” That being said, the person that inspires her the most is her mother. Her mother played basketball when she was younger and pushes her on the days when she just wants to give up. Not only that but Christiana comes from a single mother household of four, her mom Jeralynn Campbell has been doing it all on her own for years! Surrounded by love, Christiana wants to thank the three women who have shaped her into the strong woman she is today. A special thanks to grandma Deborah Campbell, aunt Kisha Morris, and mom Jeralynn Campbell.
As far as training goes, Christiana is always focused on bettering herself. Even on the off seasons she does conditioning three times a week. When the season is on-going, she's always on her feet. On the court she admits there’s a lot going through her mind, a lot of eyes on her and she doesn't want to mess up. But as soon as she makes that first shot, her confidence boosts and she gets her head together.
College scouting has been especially difficult with the hardships of COVID, people don’t want to come to the games because of the crowds. As far as that went, Christiana says she didn’t know she was going to make it this far. She is beyond grateful for the opportunity to further her talents and says, “I’ve always had the dream to play in college and live the college life.”
For the rest of her senior year she plans to focus on her studies and prepare for the near future. Her goals for college are to be ready for anything that comes her way! College is the next chapter of her life and she’s ready to take that step.
Sabrina Carter is very versatile in the positions she plays, she goes wherever she is needed. She started playing basketball in 7th grade and she blossomed from there. For inspiration, Sabrina’s parents and two best friends push her everyday to become the best player she can be. They remind her to never be satisfied and to always strive for more! This naturally carries over to her training, which she does any and every time she can; usually 6 days a week.
When she’s on the court her mind is a hundred different places at once. Her tip is to just drown out the noise of the stands and focus on what you can do for you and your team. Whether on or off the court, she is always cheering her teammates on and giving them positive energy.
Her goals for the rest of her senior year is to have fun, while still doing what she needs to do. She states, “A lot of people stress about growing up so much they miss memories and being young, which flies by fast. I want to enjoy my senior year and become the best, most successful version of me there is.”
When a big tournament was canceled due to COVID, it was concerning since it was a prime scouting opportunity. Nevertheless these four lady leopards landed a college and it hasn’t stopped any of them from becoming successful. The future is looking bright and Sabrina is ready to face that head on!
Calviona Hagood plays the positions of point guard and small forward. She started playing the sport when she was only 7 years old. She states that she loves basketball so when she’s not training, she’s always dribbling or shooting the ball at home. Her inspirations come from her two number one fans, her mom and older sister. The pair are always present in the stands, pushing her to always play harder and more aggressive. The constant affirmation and support from her family inspires her to give 100 percent, no matter if they win or lose. Calviona states that despite the regular COVID complications, she is glad they were able to play this year. Focusing on the excitement to come, Calviona is ready to push forward!
Marissa Foulks plays the positions of Guard two or three, mainly the shooter. Like the others, Marissa started playing the sport young, starting at only ten years old. As far as playing for a school goes, Marissa states, “I wasn’t going to try out for basketball my 6th grade year because I didn’t want to play basketball. It wasn’t until the night before tryouts I packed a bag and said why not. Who knew it was on the next day at tryouts I found out how much I enjoyed basketball. My mom always told me you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, regardless of basketball but in life as well. Here I am making it possible.” From there Marissa dedicated her time and effort to the sport. Her inspiration to keep pushing forward comes from her mother who, like her, started playing basketball young and carried it out through high school. Marissa shares, “she would always tell me stories about her games and how much she loved playing the game.”
Before a game Marissa gets in the zone by putting in her beats and listening to music while getting herself focused on the event ahead. She has no time to let distractions get the best of her! When on the court, her adrenaline soars as she gets a feel for the game and the other players. She then lets instincts take over and trusts her teammates.
For the remainder of her senior year she plans to work her hardest and never look back. 2020 was a rough year for all, but it's in the past now and it’s time to move forward. Trinity Tigers Coach Clark once told her, “If you’re depressed you are living in the past, if you’re anxious you’re living in the future, and if you’re at peace you’re living in the present.” She shares these are the best words of wisdom she's heard and taken in. Marissa plans on enjoying every moment of 2021 all the while thriving. “I have big dreams and goals and won’t stand for less.”
She is beyond grateful for the opportunities given to her right now, education has always been important to her and now she has the opportunity to further it, while also playing in the sport she loves. Doors are opening and she won’t hesitate to run through. At Trinity College she plans to get her Bachelors of Science in nursing. She hopes to apply for programs to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The opportunity to play college basketball is one Marissa never thought would come to her, she always viewed herself as an average player and nothing more; being scouted by a college was far away in her mind. Boy was she wrong! She shares a thanks to Coach Mullikin for giving her this opportunity and always believing in her and the process. He pushed her out of her comfort zone, something she didn’t know she needed. She finally shares, “He wants his players to succeed not just on the court but off the court as well. He is by the far the BEST coach I’ve ever had hands down! This opportunity is here for me because of him.”
Lady Leopards have a lot to look forward to in 2021, we expect more great news to come!