Meet the Panther Monae
She has just completed the first week of her senior year, and Monae shakes her head when she says, “I’m ready, but it’s kind of shocking because it’s gone by so fast. High school has gone by so fast.”
The third of her mother’s three children, QHS senior, and Lady Panther Basketball starter, won one of the two summer workout warrior awards given since Coach Jennie Vance began coaching in Quitman. Vance explains,
“Monae received that summer workout warrior award for not missing practice, never complaining, always hustling, and continually improving this summer. I did not give the award the first summer I was here because nobody met those criteria. They did not know what the criteria were nor did they know there was a prize. She wants to play, and it shows. She’s really stepped up and gotten better! Her teammates love her and praise her improvements. She’s really gonna help us this year. She has really blossomed into an all around young lady – hard working, smart, and beautiful!”
With daily practice and the promise of an exciting upcoming season, Monae talks about what playing Panther Basketball has meant and will continue to mean to her.
“I work with the team and can play every position. I’ve been playing since I was little but been playing at the school since I was in 7th grade. I love basketball. It’s taught me about teamwork, to have a good attitude, and how important my grades are. Coach Vance has taught me discipline and to be anywhere fifteen minutes early. We have to do it in basketball, and we have to do it in life. I’ve learned to never give up, always push through being tired, and that school comes before basketball. I learned how to make lifelong friends who become family.”
The Panther Track shot put and discus star, HOSA member, and CCCTC Health Science II student is going to take those lessons into a future healthcare career.
“I want to be a traveling physical therapist. I helped my grandma when I was little, and she had a bad knee. I slept in a room with her on a couch to make sure she was alright. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.”
With dreams of going to the University of Southern Mississippi and earning a degree which will pay for travel, living expenses, and contribute to a nice retirement, Monae plans to remember those things which got her here in high school.
“My friends would describe me as shy and kind. You don’t have to have friends to be cool. I stay to myself, but I have my basketball family. Get friends who feel like family, who provide you with a safe place.”