Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 48
Athlete of the Week: Simone Swain
BY COLIN PATRICK HODGES
Simone Swain does it all on the basketball court. A forward from Valley Christian Academy, Swain is playing at a level her opponents can’t seem to match. Only a sophomore, she’s shattered the career record for blocked shots at her school, registering more than 60 this season.
“Simone is a well-rounded player—she rebounds, plays defense, brings the ball up the court; anything I ask her to do, she’ll do,” said Peter Fortier, VCA varsity head coach. “You don’t normally see that in a sophomore; she’s fun to watch.”
Not only is Swain an outstanding basketball player, she’s also a well-rounded individual off the court. Fortier said his star player is a model student with great work ethic. Despite helping lead her team to the playoffs and a league championship, Swain is still her own toughest critic.
“It’s hard moving past my mistakes, especially in the game,” she said. “Sometimes I’m really hard on myself, and I have to constantly remind myself to move forward and just fix it.”
Fortier said she has a competitor’s spirit, and when the game is on the line, she’s looking for the ball.
“She’s a finisher,” Fortier said.
The sophomore’s maturity level is unique and her talent is unmatched for her age. But for Swain, being successful on the basketball court is about effort, something she said she’s learned from her coach.
“I learn a lot of important things from my coach,” Swain said. “Usually before games he will read us a Bible verse, and those help me prepare mentally for the game; but one of the most important things he has taught me is to give everything while I am out on the court.”
For a young player as accomplished as Swain, it would be easy to rest on her laurels. Instead, the talented sophomore is always working, focused on improving her skills any way she can.
“My personal goals coming into this season were improving my free-throw percentage, working on my footwork as a post player, and getting my outside shot down,” she said. “My free-throw percentage has gone up since my freshman year, and I think I am getting stronger as a post player. I am still working on being consistent at my outside shot.”
Next, she will lead the VCA Lions into the state playoffs, as they attempt to advance in the postseason.