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What a Ride (Shaunteva Ashley)

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Our Taco John's Athlete of the Week will take the court on Thursday in her final State Basketball Tournament.  Shaunteva Ashley has been terrific while playing at Roosevelt.  And that's exactly what she's always wanted to do.

As a child, Ashley says she had one major goal when she made it to high school.

"I moved to this side of town and immediately I wanted to play for Roosevelt girls basketball," said the Roosevelt senior.

She's played--and had an impact--since her freshman year, and even now, she's excited to be a part of that long tradition of excellent players who've taken the court for the Rough Riders.

"As an 8th grader, we had summer camps," said Roosevelt Head Coach Chris Clark. "She was hanging around, hanging around, hanging around and finally tugging on my sleeve and she said, 'Hey Coach, I'm Shaunteva Ashley.  I want to play varsity for you next year.'  And that was just, you know, you don't get a whole lot of freshman who are willing to say that."

Not only did she say it, she actually did it, and no one was more surprised than her coach.

"We were coming off a state championship team and a team that returned seven seniors," said Clark.
 "I just felt like that was a stretch at that point in her career and boy, did she come in with the intensity and the fire and a willingness to learn and get better."

Ashley has kept improving throughout her career and now she is hoping to play in college as well.

"I can't imagine not playing basketball everyday," said Ashley.

Before that happens though, she has a few more games left.  Ashley has led the Riders back to the State Tournament with one last chance at a championship.

"It's still pushing me," said Ashley.  "I know it's still pushing the girls on our team to get back and make it all the way this time."

"Our team is gonna be ready to go and they're gonna want to play," said Coach Clark.  "But I know one girl in particular that's gonna play her heart out."

Shaunteva Ashley.  The latest in a long line of Roosevelt greats.

Jason Anschutz, KDLT Sports, Sioux Falls.

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