By DJ MOORE
COVINGTON, Ga. — Since arriving on Newton High School’s campus as a freshman, Dhakiya Knights knew one thing: she wanted to play a sport. And it didn’t take long for Knights to choose tennis.
During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Knights, a sophomore at the time, was restless and decided that joining the tennis team would be a great outlet.
As her time at Newton played out, Knights became captain of the Lady Rams’ tennis team. That experience has been amazing for her.
“I do enjoy being captain, especially with the team I am a part of,” Knights said. “I have greatly enjoyed watching the team progress while occasionally providing pointers or challenging them by playing against them.”
Though she was drawn toward tennis because of an outlet, Knights quickly realized her favorite aspect of the game.
“The best part about playing tennis is the community,” Knights said. “I love my team and my coaches. They are supportive of me and each other on and off the courts.”
Over the past three years playing tennis, Knights has noticed growth in her individual game, too.
“One thing you’ll find with tennis is that most of the people you play against have been playing for most of their lives, so I am proud that, going into my final season, I have been able to keep up with these high level athletes better,” Knights said. “I have also been able to switch up the way I hit to compete better.”
When Knights transitioned to the tennis court, she didn’t neglect being involved in other extra-curricular activities. Those include National Honor Society, HOSA, STEM Council, and NCCA Associate Board of Directors. All of this has prepared Knights for her post-high school life.
Knights’ academic success also earned her Newton High’s Class of 2023 valedictorian as well as being named a 2023 Georgia Scholar.
Now, with her graduation quickly approaching, Knights set her sights on life after high school.
Knights’ post-high school’s plan is to attend a four year college or university while majoring in neuroscience hoping to become a physician and biomedical researcher.
No matter the road ahead, Knights is confident that her time as a Lady Ram — whether on or off the tennis court — has prepared her.
“I have gotten ample research and leadership opportunities from STEM that I think will serve me well in my next step,” Knights said. “Tennis has taught me to not prioritize accolades and to remain consistent in the face of challenges, skills I will need in my next step.”