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Coach Sharleta Rogan-Paris

Every youth athlete needs the support and encouragement of a caring mentor. The girls at Detroit Edison Public School Academy, DEPSA, are extremely lucky to have that support from Coach Sharleta Rogan-Paris. Whether her athletes need help academically or athletically, Coach Sharleta is there to help.

This year, on the DEPSA JV team, there was a player that was struggling to make free throws and 3-pointers. This young lady was practicing extremely hard and was determined to succeed. One day, when she told her coach that she was going to make a 3-pointer, Coach Sharleta replied with, “I know you will, keep shooting.” That kind of encouragement goes a long way for young players. After returning from sickness and more determined than ever, this young player finally made her first 3-pointer. Nothing but net.

“It was the joy on her little face when she turned and said ‘Coach, I did it!’ as she skipped down the court, shaking her fist in victory,” said Coach Sharleta, “It’s those moments that make me excited about coaching.”

Coach Sharleta’s support and encouragement in the classroom is just as exceptional as on the basketball court. The most important lesson she teaches her athletes is the importance of their education. Their athletic talent may be one way to go to college, but academic achievement is the best way. She also encourages her athletes to set goals and dreams for themselves.

“I try to teach my athletes the impo20161209_210513rtance of education and dreaming big, and that they are student-athletes. It all works together. They are students first and athletes second,” she said, “We talk about what kind of career or dreams they would like to achieve and the importance of taking care of business in the classroom first is heavily emphasized.”

She doesn’t just pass on words of encouragement; she really works hard to ensure her student-athletes succeed. Requesting weekly progress reports from each player helps her see who might need some extra academic help. She sits down and evaluates their individual situation and makes sure each of these players is in after-school tutoring or comes early to practice so she can personally help them with their studies.

The DEPSA basketball team may be working extremely hard, but they have a lot 20161208_190621of fun, too! The team is really close-knit and can often be found having pizza or ice cream parties, watching high school games together, or just sitting around talking and laughing. The players keep positive attitudes and work together as a team.

Their hard work has paid off this year! Even though it was only DEPSA’s third year with a JV basketball team, the girls earned the title of Detroit PAL JV Champions! The Varsity team had a great season as well and earned the Runner-Up title in the Varsity Championships.

Coach Sharleta Rogan-Paris is a shining example of a great coach and mentor. She is not only a basketball coach for DEPSA, but also a mother of three, a Construction Project Engineer, and a business owner/event designer! She is a firm believer in the saying ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’

 

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