Scholar of the Week
Michiah Watts of Richmond Community High School
By Janeal Downs
With her mother being a track coach and her father being a basketball coach, Michiah Watts has always been involved in sports. She started running track when she was about five and started playing basketball in middle school. She said her parents have definitely had a big influence on her love for sports and said it’s in her blood. She was thrilled when she made both the Varsity Girls’ Basketball and Track teams as a freshman. However, when she was running track that year she began to have problems with her hip. “I would try to run as fast as I could and practice hard, but all of a sudden I just had to stop because of the pain,” Michiah wrote in an essay. “At first I thought it was a minor issue, and that if I keep stretching and practicing, it would go away. I was wrong.” When Michiah went to get her hip checked out, she discovered that one of her bones was longer than the other, and the bones were rubbing together with little tissue in between causing the pain.
After undergoing hip surgery and being told she would be back to normal in three months, it took her an entire school year. Michiah said learning how to walk and run again, something she had been doing most of her life, was “the worst feeling in the world.” With her love for sports, unfortunately she had to take a break from basketball and track. When she went back to playing, she went from being the Captain of the basketball team to not getting into any games in her sophomore and junior years. “The surgery didn’t allow me to show my full potential, and it is hard to go from being a great athlete to having to start all over like I never ran or played basketball before,” Michiah stated. After taking some time off, Michiah said she came back “in full force with a better attitude and as a better athlete.” The experience taught her how to appreciate her own ability.
Currently, she focuses on track more. Despite her surgery, she has been involved with sports throughout her time in high school. “I like being a part of the team,” Michiah said. She likes the excitement that comes with basketball and she likes setting personal goals and being able to achieve them in track. She has also played for her school’s volleyball team.
While she has gotten some offers, Michiah is not sure if she will continue playing sports in college but she plans to major in health science. Her top four choices for college are Howard University in Washington D.C., James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond or George Mason University in Fairfax. “If you work hard with sports and academics, if you work hard to meet your goals, or work hard to succeed like studying, good study habits always put you ahead,” Michiah said when asked what lesson she will take with her to college. She is not sure which route she will take in the health field, but she does know she likes to work with children.
Outside of sports and school, Michiah’s favorite activity is being a Girl Scout and mentoring others. She enjoys going out in the community and helping. Most recently, she won her silver award after presenting to the council on awareness for drunk driving and driving under the influence. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Technical Student Association.
Michiah said her mother is a big influence on her life and she appreciated how as a child she was always inspired to do her best and to be the best possible. She did her best after recovering from her surgery and now plans to do the same as she prepares for college and a life in the health science field.