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Kadena Youth Basketball at its Best

By: Victoria L. Moore

Date Posted: 1998-05-30

The Kadena Tar Heels, members of the Kadena Youth Basketball Sophomore Division, set ground breaking milestones this year. The team finished the season 12-0 setting a record for the Sophomore Division. No other team in this age group of seventh and eighth graders has ever gone undefeated. In addition they set the record for total points scored in a single season finishing with 312 points.

The team was lead by Lathesa Burroughs who scored 112 points for the season. However, it was not just Lathesa that scored. Sheneka Lee finished the season with 81 points and Eva Johnson, finished with 61 points. The team was well balanced because they channeled their efforts and honed their skills as a team.

The most outstanding milestone of the team was their scholastic achievement throughout the school year. Each member was on either the honor roll or high honor roll and maintained that status during the entire school year. The interesting thing was that prior to the season their grades were very good however, during the season all of the girls' grades actually elevated. Each girl was very disciplined in prioritizing their time for study, in addition to balancing the rigorous basketball season schedule of, three practices and two games per week. Team Mom, Martha Lee, told Japan Update that, "When the team started the girls played my ball. However, by mid-season they learned how to play as a team." Three girls from the team were selected to play on the all star team, that will play against a local Japanese team. Latesh, Eva, and Sheneka, plan on attending college and then going on to the WNBA. The entire team is college bound.

Every team member maintained success in their school work through dedication to study and focusing on their educational goals. Sheneka Lee, one of the teams leading point players, plans to attend the University of North Carolina, where she plans to study forensic science. She also aspires to go all the way to the WNBA. She told Japan Update, "The most important thing is my education. I would like to get a dual scholarship however I am committed to focusing on my education."

Kimberly Melton, play's wing position of the team. She plans on becoming a Marine Biologist after attending the University of North Carolina. She told Japan Update that, "Basketball means a lot to me however, my school work means more." She was always interested in playing basketball and began playing at the age of 8. She aspires on attaining a scholastic scholarship because of her continued aptitude in maintaining an A average. She also said that the coach always told the team members that they had to keep school work together to continue playing on the team.

Candice Lewis, play's forward guard for the team, and plans to become either a lawyer, model or professional basketball player. One of her goals is to attend Harvard University. Candice is a straight A student. She said that she maintained her grades by being responsible and doing her assigned work and studying for tests. She also won the most improved award for the team. Candice advises students that aspire to play basketball, but that do not have good grades to concentrate on getting school grades together before trying out for any sport.

In addition to the tremendous effort the girls put toward their school grades each has specific goals for their future. Some believe they will find opportunity in the WNBA. Others have a different career path mapped out. However, all have a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that they perform extremely well under the pressures of school work and extracurricular activity.

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