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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PERSEVERANCE PAYs FOR WHITEHAVEN'S TIA POLK

 Article from Commercial Appeal

Losing her coach hit Katia Polk hard. But after a period of adjustment, the Whitehaven High senior is poised for a season that should make her one of the area’s top girls basketball prospects.

The 5-11 senior visited Middle Tennessee State on Monday. And while she doesn’t have any offers yet, schools like Ole Miss and Alcorn State are also interested.

Polk began her high school career at White Station but transferred to Whitehaven following the death of Spartans coach Darryl Durham, who succumbed to cancer in December 2012.

“He was like a grandfather to me and things kind of just fell apart,” she said. “I just didn’t really want to go into the gym without him being there. My academics weren’t good but now I have a 23 on my ACT. I never thought I’d be able to score that high and now I’m striving to do better.”

With her grades in good shape, Polk — known as “Freight Train” — will now work on her game as she prepares for the next level. She’s strong defensively and has good court presence but attacking the boards is what Polk does best.

“(Tigers) coach (Johnny) Luckett told me, ‘The team is on your shoulders,’ ” she said. “I feel like every rebound is mine; my mindset is, ‘I have to get the ball.’ And nine times out of 10 I do.”

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