MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Miata Borders puts the work in on the court. It shows with her skill with the ball and smooth shooting stroke.
The excellence doesn’t end here for the Mitchell High senior.
“It’s not all about basketball,” Borders said. “Class comes first because without the work, you can’t even play basketball. I just always tell myself I don’t accept nothing less than a B. I just don’t go for that.”
Borders has multiple motivations for hitting the books. One being her expensive taste in fashion.
“My auntie always tells me if you don’t get a B or higher you can’t get what you want,” Borders said. “I’m expensive. I like a lot of stuff, so I always focus in class.”
The dream of playing college basketball keeps her focused as well.
“It motivates me a lot because I know on the next level its people that’s going to be people that’s better than me in the classroom and on the court so I gotta go harder,” Borders said.
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Books before ball is a constant theme for Lady Tigers coach Ashley Shields.
“Can’t nobody take your education away,” Shields said. “Can’t nobody take your degree away. One little mistake, you get hurt in basketball, what’s the next step? You get what I’m saying? One thing about it, you will always have your education and your degree. So, I speak on that a lot.”
Shields has excelled on all levels of the game. She knows all about the student athlete grind.
“Getting home from game nights, 10 o’clock, 10:30 at night. Then I’m sure once you get home you have to eat and do other chores and stuff in the house,” Shields said. “Then you’re right back at 5:30 a.m. ready to do it all over again. Like I said you have to be mentally prepared for it.
“I think this young lady has shown me tremendously every single day that I can do it in the classroom and come out here and perform on the court, and she has been doing that.”
Borders has been able to gain a lot knowledge from Shields’ experience playing in college, the WNBA and overseas.
“My coach, she’s been here for two years,” she said. “I’ve been so happy she’s been here because she’s just a motivation. She’s did everything on the next level where I’m trying to go. So, I’m glad to have her in my life.”
After she leaves Mitchell, Borders envisions a life revolving around her passions.
She wants to study physical therapy, keeping her close to the game if the pro level isn’t in the cards.
“If I don’t make it on that level I’d rather be closer to something that I love to do,” Borders said. “And I want to be a fashion designer because I love to dress. Everybody know that. I just be styling so I want to make my own clothes.”
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