The thudding of the basketball, the swish of the net. Shoes squeak on the floor and the heavy breathing of players can be heard. The whistle sounds, practice is over. It’s dark by the time she walks out of the school. That night, she’s hunched over her desk, studying for a test tomorrow.
This is the reality of a student athlete, and senior Caroline Gamble has worked hard to be where she’s at, varsity basketball player and an excellent student.
“Oh, it’s so hard. It’s really hard,” Gamble said. “What really helps is that basketball is in the morning. And so it’s from 6:30 to 10. And that really helps because I don’t do my homework in the morning anyways. But there’s like these few couple week periods where we’ll have after practice. So that’s so difficult because we get out around seven, 6:30 ish and I’m exhausted and I don’t have enough time. I have so much more to do.”
Gamble has to make sure that she plans out her week accordingly, scheduling time to do homework between practices and events to stay where she wants academically.
“My dream school is Yale. I’ve wanted to go there for such a long time. It was partly inspired by Rory Gilmore. She is the mold. I just want to be her that was part of inspiration, just I want to be there,” Gamble said. “I’ve talked to people who went to school a lot, and they’re like, you won’t have as much fun here. But it’s going to be really rewarding. That’ll be worth it for your career. And so that’s why I want to go there.”
But it’s more than just the school that draws Gamble into Yale, but also for the academics.
“It’s one of the best schools in the country to go there for economics, mathematics, and political science. It’s just a really challenging thing, the curriculum. And it’ll really help me grow academically,” Gamble said. “Also, you have an open mic, you can choose the classes you want to take, like you don’t really have required courses. And so while I’m pursuing my major, I can also learn French, just for fun, or take a European history class. Like, I just think that’s so cool.”
Combined with her high academic pursuits, Gamble has been an athlete for years.
“So I initially started playing soccer at age four. And I originally was awful at it. And I played it for around seven years,” Gamble said. “I started to pass my peak soccer performance and I was like ‘I think I’m done with this now.”
Gamble had also been playing basketball since third grade, and as she fell out of love with soccer, started to look at other sports, touching in cross country and track.
“And I loved cross country for so long until I got tendinitis and then couldn’t run anymore, Gamble said. “And so everything kind of led back to basketball. And I always had some really great friends in basketball. And I always loved it even when we had hard practices and just look forward to scrimmaging and it’s just been great all around.”
And basketball has been an amazing experience for Gamble.
“Honestly, I do remember one of our games very vividly, it was against like our arch rival in the district, it was the only team that was like that, but it was, it was such a fun game,” Gamble said. “The gym was absolutely packed. Like there were no seats left. And it was loud the whole time, I felt like I was playing in a professional game because it was just so loud. And I never experienced a high school game.”
Gamble has put in tons of effort into both her sport and her academic career, sacrificing normal high school experiences.
“And I’m honestly just working hard and spending as much as I can, sacrificing going to a football game to, you know, study for my huge APUSH test. Like things like that,” Gamble said. “It’s going to be worth it in the end.”
By Cady Russell, Sports Editor and Online Editor-in-Chief
Featured photo by Cady Russell