Student Athletes, Part 1

The Balancing Act of Academics and Athletics

by Chelsea Hess-Moore

Being a student athlete is a two-part job. In athletics, it takes a drive to want to be the best at your sport by putting in practice time and dedicating yourself to honing your skills. In academics, the demands of the classroom can be trying in high school with larger projects, SATs, requirements to meet graduation and the stress of meeting a college’s criteria for enrollment. Maintaining improvement and good standing both academically and athletically are daily tasks for dedicated and determined student athletes.

Tysha Brown, Basketball

Harrisburg High School to Providence College

For 18-year-old Tysha Brown, basketball wasn’t an option. It was and is a way of life, somewhat of a rivalry between siblings and a hobby that led to the opportunity to further her education, something she values the most.

“I have three brothers, one of whom is my twin,” says Brown. “I’m the youngest and the only girl. We all play basketball, and we are all point guards. Since elementary school, I knew I wanted to play, and my brothers played, too. They were motivation to keep getting better and better.”

Brown has grown in her basketball skills throughout her life right here in the Harrisburg area. From the local YMCA on 6th Street in Harrisburg to the Harrisburg middle-school team, improving in the game of basketball is something that Brown embraced and put time in to make sure she did. She honed her skills so well that she has been playing varsity basketball for Harrisburg High School since her freshman year. This led to being recruited by several colleges who showed great interest in her being a part of their team.

This summer, Brown is heading to Providence, R.I., to attend Providence College where she will study business and, of course, play  basketball. Going to college means more than being part of the team; it also means extending her educational experience. She has taken skills that she learned on the court and applied them to the classroom, and there is one skill in particular that she utilizes the most.

“Confidence,” says Brown. “In my school, there is a lot of speaking in front of people, and I am not really the type to talk in front of a crowd. I get nervous. But it helps a lot with your confidence, and knowing that I have to be the best player I can be translates into the classroom and my demeanor in general.”

She says that her mother always instilled in her and her brothers that basketball will keep them motivated, teach them traits to carry throughout life, keep them away from some of the negative distractions of life and could potentially pave the way to bigger and better things, specifically a college education. As Brown credits, she was right.

“I think basketball has helped me for the future because it has helped me go to Providence,” explains Brown. “That is going to help me further my education, and when it comes time for me to start my own business, the tools and things that I gained from the sport – the knowledge, the confidence, the four-year degree – are all going to help me when it comes to that time.”

The drive to be the best and do her best doesn’t stop here for Brown. As before, basketball is her main focus because it helped her achieve such a big success in her life by taking her education to the next level.

“It kept me motivated and determined,” says Brown. “It helped me realize that nothing is going to come easy, and you have to work for it. It helped get me to the biggest ultimate goal, which is to get to college. Basketball helps keep me focused and grounded. I’m going to keep pushing.”

This article appears in the May 2016 issue of Harrisburg Magazine