This Oregon City guard uses her leadership skills to help her team win.
The Oregon City (Oregon) High School girls' basketball team has been a perennial powerhouse for years. And while many of its top players have earned national recognition and college scholarships, some of its lesser-known players have equally important roles.
One such player on this year's team is Julie Reinhart, a 5-9 guard who is "a great role model in our community and a tremendous leader," according to Head Coach Carl Tinsley. "She's a person on the team who everyone looks up to. She plays hurt and is always there for other kids when they're down, and I think she's highly respected for that, even though she's not a starter for us."
Reinhart credits the coaching staff with encouraging the basketball players to be leaders, both in school and in the community. "It's really stressed in our program to be a leader," she says. "I might not be the best basketball player, but I try to keep it going in other ways."
Off the court, Reinhart has worked as an outdoor school counselor, and she's also a member of Link Crew. "It's a national organization where upperclassmen show younger students around the high school, mentor them, and keep in touch with them throughout the year," she says.
Being a member of such a top-flight basketball program takes hard work, but it's worth it, according to Reinhart. "There's a lot of pressure in this program, but there's a lot of recognition to being involved in it, too," she says. "It's so popular in the community--everyone knows about it, so when you walk into the store, someone will say, 'Oh, you play for the girls' basketball team.' We also help with the basketball camps in the summer for younger girls, and it's great to see how they respond when they come to our games during the school year. So there's pressure, but there are a lot of rewards as well."
As for her post-high school plans, Reinhart says, "I'm looking at going to Oregon State University. I want to go into sports medicine, maybe become someone who diagnoses sports injuries and does rehab with athletes. And I hope to continue playing basketball at the intramural or club level."
"Even though she won't get a college basketball scholarship, she's going to be a great addition to whatever college she goes to," Tinsley says. "She's a great example of what this program is about. She's a spokesperson for our program, she's gone to a lot of events for us, and she's a tremendous leader. She's the kind of girl who will be voted best teammate by her peers.
"Basketball is just another avenue for Julie to be a good person and a role model in the classroom and in all fields she pursues."
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