High school basketball season is just around the corner. Red River junior guard Ziaya Drakes is hoping to help her team get back to the playoffs and while sports is just a part of Ziaya’s life, she says its helped shape her in more important ways.
The word student in the term student-athlete sometimes gets overlooked or is an even an afterthought. However, for Ziaya, it’s not.
"Upsetting very upsetting but straight As from now on."
Ziaya wasn't too happy about recently getting her first B ever. You can say she's kind of a perfectionist.
Ziaya’s mom, Rofonda Newman said, "I never have to deal with anything. You give her a chore and she routinely keeps up with it."
Ziaya helped lead Red River to a District 1-2A title last season and it’s her attitude and effort on and off the court that makes her a coach’s dream.
"She's a wonderful person inside and out,” said Red River head coach Jamie Ann Tilley. “She cares for everybody. She cares for her family. She cares for her teammates. She's awesome at her school work. She just takes care of everything she needs to take care of."
Ziaya, added, "I've learned how to take control and be a leader, have fun, teach everybody be well rounded."
That just doesn’t apply on the court and or in the classroom. At home, Ziaya is the oldest of 3 and she's the only girl.
"She's more like a little mama than a big sister to my boys. Whatever it is, cooking, cleaning, putting the boys to bed, that's the type of kid she is," said Newman.
Ziaya plays softball, she's a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"I'm trying to be a good person. Staying focused just makes me want to be a good person."
Tilley added, "It's not about her at all. She cares about her team and she's just a team player. She's a team player."
As she accepted her Athlete of the Week trophy, Ziaya said, "I want to thank God, my family, my coaches, and my teammates."