Kadejah Maple, a senior at Westminster Christian School, has been looking forward to her senior year for as long as she can remember, and now that it’s here it’s somewhat bittersweet.
“I’ve been waiting for this year to come. I couldn’t wait to be a senior,” said Maple. “Now it’s already started and I really can’t believe it’s here. I want to enjoy it and savor it, and I know I’m not going to want it to end.”
Maple will once again hit the court to play girls varsity basketball for the Westminster Warriors. She’s played on the varsity team since she was a freshman under the direction of head coach Lisa Nanninga and assistant coach Andy Miller.
“My coaches are great and the team camaraderie is excellent,” said Maple, who has been playing basketball since she was five years old and describes herself as a multi-task player. “With my height, I often play post. But, I also play power forward and guard as well.”
Maple’s Westminster team has gone to the regional finals every year that she has played and has been district champions in two of her three years.
“Kadejah has developed into a team leader at Westminster with her dedication to the sport and determination to be the best player that she can be,” said Coach Nanninga. “On the court she works with her team and she is a challenge for other teams to guard.”
Conditioning for the 2010-11 season has already begun, but for Maple conditioning and training never stopped over the summer. She played basketball during the summer months with Miami Ladies Express Basketball.
“A friend of mine who played for Miami Ladies Express encouraged me to attend a 6 a.m. practice at the beginning of the summer,” said Maple. “I practiced with the group and the coach offered me a spot on the team.”
Miami Ladies Express offers elite players who have the desire to play college basketball an opportunity to travel out-of-state and compete in top-rated tournaments that are often attended by college scouts searching for prospective student athletes.
“We traveled to Atlanta, New Orleans, Tennessee and Pennsylvania to play this summer,” said Maple. “We held car washes and sold raffle tickets to win a cruise to raise money for these trips.”
Over the summer, Maple also trained with members of the Palmer Trinity football team to keep in shape. Her father, Darryl Maple, is the Palmer Trinity football coach.
“That team is like my family,” said Maple. “I worked with them on footwork, drills, sprints and in the weight room.”
Sports and fitness are a way of life for Maple. Her mom, Zet Maple, is a fitness instructor at L.A. Fitness. Even her volunteer work has been centered around sports, such as spending time at the Palmetto Bay skate park supervising kids and working with them on skate boarding skills.
Maple hopes to continue playing basketball when she attends college next year. She plans to study nursing or anesthesiology and her top college choices include the University of North Carolina, Georgia State and the University of Miami.