Joining the Rocket family


Kana Chung, Move editor

We couldn’t be happier for Yani and the new adventure that awaits her at the University of Toledo.”

— Coach Hayley Leake

A bead of sweat runs down her temple as she looks her opponent dead in the eyes. The cheers from the stands are drowned out by her focus on her teammates and the ball at her hands. Senior Yaniah (Yani) Curry, a forward for FHC’s varsity basketball team, is completely immersed in the game.
And on Monday, September 17th, she officially committed to the University of Toledo’s Women’s Basketball Team. In her excitement, she even released a tweet (which is now pinned to her profile) to spread the word.
After first finding out about the opportunity, she turned to God for her thanks.
“[I just felt] blessed,” Curry said.
She also had similar thoughts when making her final decision on whether or not to accept Toledo’s offer.
“I went [to the university] on an official visit, and I prayed about it, honestly. I felt like God just led me to the right school,” Curry said.
But in addition to God, there were several other factors that led coaches from University of Toledo to join the pool of students which they refer to as the Rocket family. Varsity coach Hayley Leake gives credit to her technical soundness.
“Yani is dynamic on both ends of the floor. She has the ability to score the basketball as well as create [opportunities] for her teammates. She also creates a tough match-up on the defensive end of the floor as she uses her length to alter shots and create turnovers,” Coach Leake said.
Not only her skill, but also the attitude she carries herself with has impacted the team greatly. Fellow member of the school’s women’s basketball program, Nicole Garthe, feels that even in a short period of time Curry’s attitude has helped Garthe improve herself.
“Yani brings the most humbled attitude to the court I’ve ever seen; she works hard, plays well, and never brags or gets worked up. Personally, I’ve only played with her during this past summer, but even practicing together she’s always encouraged me and pushed me to do my best,” Garthe said.
However, Curry wasn’t always the player she is today, she puts endless hours of practice into the sport she loves.
“During the season, we have practice every single day. And it’ll vary from going right after school to, maybe, later practice at night. And I think maybe two days out of that week we’ll have weights after practice,” Curry said, “And then, during season, you have games so sometimes like games will start to replace those practices, tournaments will [typically] take the weekends.”
All those hours of dedication have allowed Curry to grow into an extraordinary player, and her growth has been obvious to those around her.
“As a player, Yani has grown in her talent by working for it every day, she’s gone from being a stand out freshman player to the star of the team,” Garthe said.
In addition, her coach can only agree that Curry has earned everything this opportunity has provided her.
“Yani has worked extremely hard to earn everything the game of basketball has shared with her to this point in her career. It has taken a commitment to the time and training that many don’t recognize or see on the outside, to have the opportunity to play at the next level. We couldn’t be happier for Yani and the new adventure that awaits her at the University of Toledo,” Leake said.
Even after all of the praise, Curry is able to stay humble. She gives most of the credit to those who have supported her throughout her journey.
“[It has] definitely [been] my coaches and teammates who have pushed me to where I’m at today,” Curry said.
Although they can no longer cheer her on from the bench, her coaches and teammates can now show their support from the stands as Curry carries her love of basketball throughout the rest of her career, and she appreciates every minute of it.
“I’d like to take the time to thank God first and foremost for this amazing opportunity and blessing, as well as my family, friends, teammates, and coaches who have all pushed me to become the best version of myself,” Curry said.