BOONVILLE - Heading into her senior season, Heaven Walters set a personal goal of joining the exclusive 1,000-point club.
After already overcoming a devastating ACL injury her sophomore year, Walters knew the journey wouldn’t come easy, but she stayed determined.
Playing on a freshmen-laden team that went through growing pains, the senior not only reached her goal, but learned a lot about herself as a player and a leader in the process.
“It’s been a real learning experience,” Walters said on Senior Night. “I definitely had to step up and teach the young girls. It wasn’t the best record, but I think we’ve improved and learned a lot. It was a learning experience and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“I want to give God all the credit and glory,” she added.
Walters finally hit the milestone on a free throw in the third quarter against East Wilkes on February 12, becoming just the fourth Lady Ram to reach the milestone, capping an impressive four-year career on a high note.
“It was a really tough journey,” she explained. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to come back from ACL injury and score 1,000. Then right before the Forbush game (on February 5), I sprained my ankle and all my hopes were down. It’s a real blessing. I’m very blessed to be able to score 1,000 and I’m just really thankful.”
The Guilford College signee said she will be able take what she learned from the pursuit of the individual goal and the ups and downs of her season season to the next level.
“I think my senior year will give me a lot of confidence to step up and play to my abilities,” she said. “I can take that into my college years and be able to execute there.”
Starmount head coach Doug Chilton said that seeing the teams’ “go-to player” reach her goal will have a lasting affect on the program.
“We talked at the beginning of the season that scoring 1,000 points was one of her goals. We’ve been counting down them down,” he explained. “I told her and I told the team that this is not only a goal for an individual player to leave school say ‘I scored 1,000 points,’ but it is also became a goal for the whole team. We wanted that goal for her just as much as she wanted it for herself.
“It will set a standard for our team and for other players. I think it really helps our program in the long run to see that anything is possible.”
While her high school career came to an end in the conference tournament last week, Walters’ fingerprint will undoubtedly be left on the program for years to come.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.