Aaliyah Currence: HUMBLE AND HUNGRY
Since I started covering High School sports the toughest thing to do was to cover my daughter and be able to portray her success without giving off the impression of being biased. If anything I went out of my way to make sure that never was the case which probably did her a disservice in the end. As I was writing the blog last week for the first time I just stepped back and took a look at her career taking dad out of the equation. And without a doubt, if I looked at it through just a media persons eyes, Aaliyah Currence would be at the top of the list for people I would want to interview for their successes on and off the field.
Humble and hungry the motto for the basketball team her junior year actually fits Aaliyah perfectly. Aaliyah is a very humble person who rarely takes any time to talk about herself and her accomplishments. However that humbleness cannot be mistaken for complacency, as she is very hungry when it comes to being the best she can be in the classroom and the various sporting venues.
Aaliyah enjoyed a lot of athletic success and it started early in her life. She accumulated numerous gymnastic awards from the ages 5 -10, and always played a year above her age and stood out in her early teen AAU seasons. By the time she reached middle school and started to dominate on the basketball courts and the track and field it was evident that Aaliyah was going to be something special.
Aaliyah started as a freshman on the basketball team and averaged 13.7 points per game and seven rebounds. She then proceeded to break the school and County record in the long jump, then broke her own record jumping an impressive 18 ft 9 in at the districts in Marietta. She also broke the school record in high jump her freshman campaign. She finished off her freshman year making it to state in Columbus for high jump and finished 6th earning her all Ohio honors. Her teammates gave her the nickname "Baller", and it stuck with her throughout her high school tenure.
That early High School Success only fueled her fire to be the best of the Aaliyah Currence that she could be.
Her favorite sports moment without any doubt was making it to state in basketball her junior year, and what a junior year it was. It marked the first time in the New Philadelphia school's history that they had been to the State final four. Currence was named 1st team All-Ohio in division two and she also became the female all time leading scorer in junior year.
When it was all said and done Currence compiled quite the list of postseason awards. She finished as a 3-time ECOL player of the year, 3-time East district player of the year, and 3-time district 5 player of the year, just to name a few. Currence was selected to play in the North-South all-star game. She would also become New Philadelphia's all-time leading scorer regardless of gender halfway through her senior season. To put her awards in perspective, It took five tables at her graduation party to accommodate all the athletic/academic accolades she accumulated.
The best thing about her individual success, was that it translated to team wins. There are lots of athletes putting up big numbers but affect the team in a negative way. Aaliyah's sophomore, junior, and senior seasons the Lady Quakers were 73-8, including an undefeated regular season her senior year with the only loss coming in the regional final in overtime.
Her enormous athletic success is just half the story. Currence was a straight-A student throughout her entire life and her senior year was the National Honor Society president. Smart, soft-spoken, humble and completely respected by all of her friends, teachers, and family. She has an infectious personality and the kind of ora that people just gravitate to. She paid as much detail to her academics as she did to her athletics and excelled at both. When asked about her success she always defers the credit to her teammates, teachers, and coaching staffs.
Aaliyah plans on attending THEE Ohio State University to study to become a traveling nurse. As a media member, looking back over her High School career, you just say wow, and it translates to paper well. But as a father she has made me proud in a way that you just cant put into words.