OU ROTC3 

By Derrick Smith

The goal of most high school athletes is to play well enough to be able to compete at the college level of their sport. While not all athletes are able to achieve that goal, Kendra Gillispie is. She is the fifty-eighth ranked prospect of the 2021 class, according to ESPN, and she has signed to play at Marquette University after she graduates.
 
Gillispie says that reaching her goal is great, but it took a lot for her to be able to do it. “It was not easy,” she said. “There was a lot of hard work and dedication. And no matter what is going on, I did not take a day off.”
 
Kendra is a senior at Harding Charter Prep. She plays power forward for the Lady Eagles basketball team. She began playing basketball at the age of five, when she fell in love with the game and never looked back.
 
While she has put in a lot of work, Gillispie says that she would not be where she is today with two special people in her life. “My mom is the biggest role model in my life,” she said. “She has made so many sacrifices for me and she is the reason why I am the person I am today. Another person that impacted my life was my sophomore English teacher, Mrs. Gottsch. She taught me to never give up on anything in life.”
 
Signing to play college basketball was a great moment for Kendra. But she says that there have been some other great moments throughout her career. Moments that have shown her that the hard work pays off. “My best memory from playing basketball was winning a state championship during my sophomore year,” she said. “I also received the state tournament MVP award. It was really great to experience all that and it gave me more incentive to continue to work hard.”
 
Lady Eagles basketball head coach Latesha Woods says that Gillispie is a key player on the team and a great role model off the court. “Kendra is such a program changer,” Woods stated. “She has taken many teams to the top. She is exemplary on and off the court. She is definitely a leader, a role model, and a good friend. She is the definition of student-athlete.”
 
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