Not every athlete has the opportunity to continue to play their sport at the next level. For Holmes County basketball player Mikayla Moore, her dream became a little more real as she committed to play basketball at Northwest Florida State College next season. But Mikayla has a little unfinished business as a Lady Blue Devil first, and everyday before practice, she takes 500 shots, not because she has too, but because the do it all hoops star knows that hard work equals success.
"This summer, and before school started, my goal was to definitely up my three pointers, and I have," she says. "That's what my focus was on."
"She does a good job," says Head Coach Devon Miles. "She comes in here and gets on the shooting machine. We sit there and watch he do it and enjoy watching her get better."
Mikayla's hard work has helped lead the Lady Devils to a 14-6 record, as she averages just over 16 points, grabs six rebounds, and dishes out five assists per game. Her motivation comes from last year's State Final Four loss to Ponce de Leon- and wanting that return trip to Lakeland.
"I told them I would much rather not graduate until we go back," she laughed. "I'm going back!"
"There have been certain games this year where she's played shooting guard, she's played point guard, she might play center, she has to play all over the court," says Coach Miles of Mikayla's versatility. "She never complains because she's about winning- and that's what we're trying to do is win."
Mikayla hasn't lost site of hitting the books as hard as she hits the hardwood- balancing a 3.75 unweighted GPA as a dual-enrolled student at Chipola, where's she's racked up 26 college credit hours.
"I didn't know until about 7th grade that college was an option- I always though that's just what you do," she says. "So grades had to stay up."
"She sets a really good example for a lot of the younger girls on the team to keep your grades up, and you can do that and play sports at the same time," says teammate Zoie Hodge, who's known Mikayla since 7th grade.
"The number one thing that I try to get out is that you never give up, never give up," says Mikayla, because she knows hard work brings you one step closer to making your dreams come true.
Mikayla says she chose to play basketball at Northwest Florida State because she felt she fit in with the program. She wants to study social science and become a history teacher so she can coach basketball.