Friday, June 24, 2016
Going the distance...Campers travel over 1400 miles for Walz Skills Camp -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
FROM SHIPROCK, NM TO LOUISVILLE
(Portions of today's article are from the New Mexico Activities Association Spotlight News)
One of the things I like to do when watching a skills camp is go over the roster to see where the participants are coming in from. Obviously, Louisville players were in force...15 camp attendees were from our fair city to take part in the Walz Skills camp on Wednesday. 24...about 1/3 of the total...hailed from Kentucky. Ohio was well represented with 10 players and Indiana sent eight high-schoolers to learn from the Cardinal coaches, players and staff.
Then there was the Shiprock, NM contingent.
Three girls (Tia Woods 2018, TionTai Woods 2020 and Tanisha Begay 2017) made the 1411 mile trek from Shiprock to Louisville. Only Shelby McDaniel (Honolulu, HI) came further. 22 hours by car, according to Google, from their high school to the Student Activities Center on the UofL Belknap Campus.
Tanisha is an interesting story, indeed. She averaged 15 points for the Lady Chieftains as a sophomore and was selected for the New Mexico first team all-state squad. Her team has gone 55-5 over the last two years. At 5'9" she's also a member of the New Mexico Heat Elite travelling squad and tours the nation during the summer with that travelling team.
College interest in her?
Coaches can start contacting players on Sept 1st to let them know they're thinking about them. At 10 p.m. on Aug 31st. in New Mexico (midnight on the east coast) she got her first two contacts.
From Princeton and Columbia. Ivy League.
" I was...like...'What is this?...when my phone started vibrating to tell me I'd received an e-mail. Princeton was the first one and Columbia right after that." Begay relates.
Others followed. New Mexico, New Mexico State and UNLV all reached out to her early as well. Begay carries a 4.0 GPA and also plays volleyball, runs track and cross country and shoots golf for Shiprock.
On the court she wears #23...no doubt inspired by Shoni's success in college and the WNBA. She wears #5 in volleyball...we haven't been able to determine if it's because of Katie George or not.
Shiprock is in Navajo Country. Whether Louisville has made any recruitment of her yet is unknown...but there is always the possibility she might be the next Shoni Schimmel of the women's college basketball world. Or an Ivy League superstar. Whatever path she ends up on, she is driven to excel. As she puts it...
"You feel the success you have and you want to feel it even more...so what's the point of stopping at a certain point? I want to be the better person out there and it's what drives me and makes me be a better person on the court and in the classroom."