First Posted: 2/5/2009
School: East Surry
Notable: If laughter truly is the best medicine for pain, that theory has been tested by Simmons, the jester of East Surrys court.
While fighting foot and ankle pain and performing her comedic pregame rituals, Simmons scored a team-high nine points in Tuesdays loss to powerhouse Bishop McGuinness.
For the four years Ive been here we always had to change our game to play with them, Simmons said. We showed them a different side of us. We were winning after the first quarter, which I dont think anyone has done.
It was fun for us to mix it up with them. We didnt change anything, we just did what we knew.
Simmons toughness was also on display Tuesday, when she spent most of her time on the hardwood diving for loose balls and tying up opponents.
She does a lot of the dirty work that people dont see, East Surry coach Robert Smith said. The old term gritty player applies.
The adage witty player might also suffice. Simmons pregame routine includes inside jokes to loosen up her teammates. She also likes to poke fun at Smith for limping around after he had surgery last year. The two share a close bond, as Smith has served not only as her coach, but also her junior English teacher.
Shes a free spirit, Smith said. She certainly keeps everybody loose. In a little more relaxed setting, shes got an interesting sense of humor. Shes a great young lady.
Added Smith: I take weird as a compliment.
In addition to being one of her teams leading scorers, Simmons averages three rebounds, three assists and two steals per game. She has connected on 50 percent of her shots this season.
Shes predominantly a slasher, Smith said of Simmons style. She likes to drive. She doesnt mind mixing it up with the big kids. She can shoot from the outside, but shes a lot more comfortable putting it on the floor.
Simmons pain was so severe earlier in the season doctors recommended surgery, but she decided to put it off until the summer.
They wanted to do it as soon as I could because I have basketball and then I have softball, Simmons said. Because its my senior year Im not missing a single game. Simmons said she will attend North Carolina State, where she has already been accepted, and major in forensic pathology. She realizes this is her last chance to play organized sports.
Every time you step out on the court its one less time youll be in that uniform, she said. That uniform has taught me so many life lessons while I was in it. I love it and I do not want to give up that jersey.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.