GAME DAY Youth Sports Magazine Upstate SC - February 2012 : Page 17
Jeter with her coach, Sharon Dillon. Just age 13, Spartan High star KIONNA JETER has the court and her future mapped out TIM LAMBKA PHOTO THE STARTING POINT GUARD FOR THE LADY VIKINGS, JETER, AN EIGHTH-GRADER, LEADS THE TEAM IN SCORING AT 15.1 POINTS PER GAME. yard and then in recreational leagues, such as Upward. Lady Vikings Coach Sharon Dillon first heard of Kionna the summer before her seventh grade year. “I watched her play that summer and knew Kionna had no business playing junior high or junior varsity ball,” Dillon recalls. “For her to develop as a player, she needs to be challenged every day.” As the starting point guard who usually plays the entire game, Kionna certainly gets that opportunity. Last year as a starting guard, she averaged 12 points each game. This year as starting point guard, in ad-dition to her scoring contribution of 15.1 points per game, she averages 6.6 steals, 3.4 assists and 4 rebounds. “On defense she’s involved in almost every play. She dives for every loose ball,” Dillon says. “She’s a natural athlete and puts the work into her game and it’s paying off.” When the Lady Vikings leave the court after practice around 5:30 after school each day, Kionna is not finished with her “work.” She goes home to spend some time with her grandmother, Mary Penson, eats dinner, and finds the time to improve her game. “I always do 50 pushups, and I shoot outside on my goal. Then I do drills, ball J By KAREN L. PuCKETT Ust in the eiGhth GRAde, KionnA JeteR averages 15 points per game as lead scorer and serves her Spar-tanburg High School teammates as a co-captain. In less than five years, she plans to attend the University of North Carolina as a Lady Tarheel basketball player. However, about 12 years ago none of this would have been imaginable. The very sport that Kionna excels at nearly robbed her of the opportunity to just that. When she was two years old, she watched her uncle and his friends playing basketball in the driveway. The ball got away from the players and bounced into the street. Two-year-old Kionna ran after the ball and was hit by a car, causing multiple fractures, including her arm and leg. She was in a body cast for a year. “The doctor told my mother I’d never walk again,” Kionna says. “After I got out of the body cast, I was four, and started playing basketball on my little basketball goal.” She quickly moved past the Little Tykes indoor goal and shooting hoops in her back-In less than five years, Kionna hopes to play at the University of North Carolina.
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