COVINGTON, Ga. — Amid a tumultuous season for the Newton girls basketball team, there has been one leader to step up: Derrinique White.
As one of the two seniors on this year’s team, White has enjoyed the competitive nature of her four years of basketball.
“The best part about playing basketball is being competitive, learning the game and the verbiage, which I thought was impossible at first because I never even played the game for fun before tryouts,” White said.
Another aspect of basketball that White has realized is the team chemistry. And, while the camaraderie hasn’t always been strong, White is proud of the role she’s played in progressing it forward.
“In some ways I think I have grown by encouraging my teammates to get better,” White said. “I’ve been involving my teammates on the court by passing and telling them ways they could do this better. That way we can keep things pushing and strive on and off the court as a team.”
White recorded 5.2 points per game this season and led the Lady Rams averaging 5.9 rebounds per game, too.
She has played basketball for just five years after being convinced by a friend to try out for her middle school team. After that, White said she fell in love with the game.
Since she first started playing, White idolized WNBA stars Alliyah Boston and Angel Reese.
But something more meaningful drives White.
“My biggest motivation to do well is my family and friends going to my games,” White said. “And they help me in a way most people don't get a chance to do.”
Being one of the only two seniors has meant a lot to White this season. There are six freshmen, three sophomores and one junior.
There is one player that White has taken notice of all season.
“Zoey Jackson has also been a good leader on and off the court,” White said. “Once Zoey really learns the game and enhances her basketball craft offensively she could be one of the best to ever play at Newton High School.”
Not only does Jackson’s development give White hope for a prosperous future for the Lady Rams, but all the returning players add to that optimism.
“I feel like I am leaving the program in good hands with the coaches and the team,” White said. “The team is stacked with freshmen. Going forward, I see them turning the program back to its winning days.”