Originally Published: Jan 19, 2010 3:1 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma – Performing at a high level is important for a lot of high school athletes. Many coaches and parents push players to excel in practice and also still find time to make all A’s in school and get into a good college. Those demands can easily add some strain to a high school athlete’s time budget.
With that in mind, the feats that three special Cascia Hall young women are achieving, can truly boggle your mind.
Mary Katherine Minor, Natalie Wallace and Genny Hickman all play basketball for the Commandos. All three also find time to serves as student class presidents.
“It’s great. It shows what great girls are on the basketball team,” said sophomore Genny Hickman. “Sometimes athletes have a reputation of getting into trouble, but I think here at Cascia we prove we can do many things, and not just follow the stereotype.”
Minor is a four year starter for head coach Joe Estep’s team, and is senior class president. She leads meetings in class and leads the team on the court as a forward for the Lady Commandos. Her teammates call her ‘M-K’, and know she can deliver on the court and in the classroom.
“She could make friends with anyone,” smiled Estep.
“I just like sports and my teammates,” said Minor. “I love bonding with my teammates and everything.”
Wallace is her junior class president and a good ball handler in the open floor. She’s always laughing and having fun, whether she’s in a heels or sneakers.
“I really enjoy the girls that are on this team,” said Wallace. “It’s fun to be around them. They give me the drive to play basketball.”
“(She’s) probably more of a natural vocal leader,” assessed Estep.
Hickman continues to turn heads on the basketball court and in student government. Minor says that Hickman has improved this year on the floor, and shows promise in student council. She heads the recycling project at Cascia Hall and has high hopes for her school.
“I learn more about her every day,” said Estep.
“I wanted to get involved in my school,” said Hickman. “I really care about school issues and I care about my classmates and making sure they have a good experience at school.”
Estep has watched each girl develop into a mature student and athlete. He’s taught them in the classroom, and coached them on the court, and has high expectation for them in both arenas.
“Each of them, their qualities, when they walk into a room, they don’t really dominate, but it’s a quiet leadership that they have,” said Estep. “They earn respect, all three of them, in different ways.”
Student council meets every Tuesday morning at 8:00 in the computer lab on the high school campus. The trio is joined by a dozen or so of their classmates to discuss various topics that weigh on the student body at Cascia Hall. Recently, the girls have been focusing on increasing recycling awareness around the campus, and preparing for upcoming school events.
“I told them this, I’ve told others this,” Estep said after practice. “I have a daughter, and if she grows up to have the qualities that these three have, I’ll be very proud. All three of them, I’d be proud to be there dad, as I am there coach.”
Good decision making in the classroom carries over to the court for these talented young women. The Cascia Hall Lady Commandos continue to play well, despite a 60-38 setback against Owasso Monday night. The team visits Holland Hall next Tuesday.
To learn more about each class president/basketball player, click on their faces above.