One inch taller than the definition of a legal midget, Natalie Dawes was a starter for Northern’s JV girls basketball team. Standing at 4 feet 11 inches, her determination, drive, and speed set her apart from the other, taller players. These and many more qualities are what make her one of Northern’s most interesting students.
Q: What position do you play?
A: I’m the starting point guard.
Q: Does your height effect how you play?
A: There’s no getting around the fact that taller people get more rebounds. That makes my job harder, but I don’t mind.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: My hero is Shay DeRort. She played basketball for the University of Maryland. I try to play like her when I’m on the court.
Q: What drives you to play basketball when some might say your height is a huge disadvantage?
A: Well, I am really fast and pretty good with basketball skills like shooting, dribbling and passing, so really my height would be the only thing stopping me and that’s not something I can change. So I play anyways.
Q: What is your best basketball skill?
A: Definitely ball handling. I practice a lot and it really has paid off.
Q: What first interested you in playing basketball?
A: The first time I went to a University of Maryland basketball game with my family. It really made me want to play too.
Q: Do you hope to continue your basketball career through college?
A: Yes, I would really like to play in college. I just hope the coaches can see my skill, not just my height.
Q: Have you learned any life lessons from basketball?
A: To stay positive and try your hardest. Those are pretty standard lessons for any member of a team.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
A: Memorizing and running all the plays with no mistakes. Getting the whole team together on those can be tough sometimes.
Q: What is your favorite thing about basketball?
A: My favorite thing about basketball is that you have to work as a team to win. It builds friendships.
–Annie Collins, The Patriot Press