Heading into my junior year of high school, basketball happily had consumed nine years of my life.
Week after week filled with practices, conditioning and film. Basketball was more than my life; it was my love.
But with one decision, I left basketball behind.
When the opportunity arose to participate in West Side Story, I knew this was something I simply had to try – or I’d regret it. So, for once, I took a risk – while leaning on the advice of one of my role models, Shane Battier.
He had visited my high school, Detroit Country Day, during my eighth grade year to have his jersey retired. His speech that day followed many themes. But one piece of advice never left my mind. Shane said, “I regret not participating in a play when I was in high school. I challenge you to do something different.”
I loved playing basketball, but it was time to take a chance and try something new. I knew I would miss out on an amazing opportunity to sing and act if I continued playing basketball.
But there was much more to consider in making my choice.
After proving my abilities to the our varsity basketball coach as a sophomore on the junior varsity, I was moved up for the rest of that season. I had been waiting to be a part of the Lady Jackets’ tradition ever since I joined the Detroit Country Day community in 2005. I could hardly believe that all my hard work had finally paid off.
Once that season concluded with a disappointing loss in the MHSAA Class B Final, I was ready to help the team, in every way possible, achieve our goal of winning the championship the next season.
Then West Side Story became a possibility as well.
One day, I was discussing whether I should continue playing basketball or participate in a play, which always had been one of my dreams. As I listed the positives and negatives of both activities, my mom simply said, “Remember the advice Shane Battier gave in that speech at your school?”
I had an epiphany. I realized the decision I needed to make.
I took a chance deciding to try something different, which honestly was one of the most challenging decisions I had to make in high school. High School is about finding your passions. You won’t know what you are passionate about unless you take a chance and try it.
Basketball still is my passion, but I have learned that sometimes we limit ourselves to one path and ignore our other passions because that is easier than challenging ourselves to try something different.
Butterflies filled my stomach as the curtains drew for our first show. I knew this feeling; I also had been nervous before basketball games, waiting for the cheers after I stole the ball or hit a quick jumper.
I used my sassy Jersey accent to portray my character from West Side Story. As laughter filled the air, my fear defused, giving me confidence in my performance – and reaffirming, for me, that I’d made the right choice.
Maria Buczkowski, Detroit Country Day senior
- Sports: Volleyball, basketball in ninth and 10th grades
- Non-sports activities: Class Board (president), yearbook editor, community service club, theatre
- Favorite class: Theory of Knowledge
- Must-see TV: "Glee"
- One shining moment: I did a pancake in our (volleyball) game versus Cranbrook this year, and we scored off of it.
- What's next: I plan on studying biology or pre-law at the University of Michigan.
- My favorite part of game day is: ... the pre-game speeches from our coaches.
PHOTOS courtesy of Maria Buczkowski.
Isaiah Marshall ♦ Southfield Arts & Technology
Senior ♦ Football
The 6-foot, 205-pound quarterback provided one of the most dynamic and historic performances in MHSAA Football Finals history to close the season Sunday evening. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns and ran 22 times for 134 yards and the game-winning score with 47 seconds to play to lead the Warriors to a 36-32 Division 1 win over Belleville, clinching their first Finals championship in this sport and ending the Tigers’ 38-game winning streak.
Marshall finished this season throwing for 3,114 yards and 39 TDs and rushing for 1,507 yards and 16 scores as A&T ended 13-1 – avenging its lone loss by defeating West Bloomfield in its Semifinal. His 415 total yards in the Final rank fourth all-time for 11-player football, while his passing yardage ranks 19th and his completion total is tied for 12th on that list. He’s committed to sign with Kansas.
@mhsaasports 🏈POW: Isaiah Marshall #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #lifesavers #outerbanks #chocolatemilk #chips #laughing #emoji #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA
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Past 2023-24 Honorees
Nov. 24: Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17: Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10: Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27: Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20: Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13: Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5: Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29: MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22: Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15: Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8: Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1: Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report
(Photos courtesy of the Clarkston Everest Collegiate athletic department.)