By Meg Dedyne
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter
Charnel Gloss, a 12th-grader at Everett High School in Lansing, said that the hardest part of being on the basketball team and being a student is keeping her grades up.
“It’s hard to find time to eat, sleep, go to practice and keep your grades up,” Gloss said. “Everything is really busy and it’s worth it but it takes a lot of work.”
Every day, high school students try to balance their time between school, sports and other extracurricular activities. Young athletes deal with the constant challenges of doing well in school, doing well in sports and finding time for other commitments such as family and work.
Liz Ballinger, the athletic director and girl’s basketball coach at Everett High School runs drills at her practice. Photo taken by Meg Dedyne.
Gloss said that time management is also a big deal while being a student-athlete. She spends most of her time every week on school and the remaining portion is devoted to basketball.
Liz Ballinger, the athletic director and varsity girl’s basketball coach at Everett, said that constant reminders of how important school is both in the classroom and on the court are always reinforced.
“When we get tired we need to push each other,” said Ballinger to her team at their afternoon practice. “We have to communicate more.”
After warm-ups, Ballinger had her team communicate to each other and count while shooting layups, followed by sprints.
“We express leadership in everything that the girls do. They need to be leaders in the classroom,” said Ballinger. “That’s why I stress communication and working as a team so much. It’s important to send that message to them as educators.”
DonNae Howard, who is in 11th grade and the manager of the girl’s basketball team at Everett, said that traveling with the team is hard sometimes because it’s hard to find time to eat.
“I think the hardest part about being the manager is being hungry,” Howard said. “Between school, homework, practice and games I don’t have time to eat sometimes. I have to get extra help with school work sometimes too to stay on top of things.”
Howard said she has school all day and then practice for at least two hours a night and then on game days or days they have scrimmages, she does homework after school and then doesn’t get home until late at night after the game.
Liz Ballinger coaches the varsity girl’s basketball team at Everett High School. Photo taken by Meg Dedyne.
Ballinger said that she loves seeing the girls grow from year to year on the team and that most girls who come in as freshman stay until their senior year, besides those who transfer in or other circumstances such as this.
“A lot of these girls have school and jobs and family stuff to take care of,” Ballinger said. “That’s why it’s really important to me that they do well in school and also have an outlet when they come to practices and games.”
Susan Cheadle-Holt, principal of Everett High School, said that there is a pretty direct correlation to being involved in extra curriculars such as sports and doing well in school.
“There is a lot of mentorship that goes into sports and through the coaches and students, we have strong motivation for responsibility in school,” Cheadle-Holt said. “Students have the feeling that if I’m not eligible this week then it’s going to affect my whole team.”