Owls’ hoops player enjoys time with team

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Athletes have different reasons for playing and liking basketball at Seymour High School.

Jenna O’Neal enjoyed the atmosphere the past four years.

“Every day in practice you’re surrounded by a group of girls that you really have a connection with,” O’Neal said. “Over the four years you really start to bond with each other, and build a relationship. It’s taken for granted, like how much they mean to you. Being a senior I’ve really noticed how much relationships are important, and the game of basketball and being a teammate is really important.”

O’Neal said she began playing basketball in the Enter His Courts league when she was about 6 years old.

She played both guard and forward for the Owls.

“I like to play on the wings,” she said. “I’m more of a drive-and-shoot kind of person. I’ll shoot the 3 if it’s open.”

The senior enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.

“I really enjoyed the home games,” O’Neal said. “I’ve played every one like it’s my last one. Here it is, my senior year.”

The seniors were honored before the Scottsburg game Jan. 20, and O’Neal said she will always remember that game.

“Ever since I was a freshman, and seeing everybody get up there to go do it, I would be one of the persons to hand the flowers some years,” O’Neal said. “This year, it was really awesome. All the fans standing and clapping, and it’s awesome to be able to say that you did it, and I did it.”

O’Neal enjoyed the Owls’ schedule, including playing in the East Central Holiday Tournament.

“It was my first time doing (varsity) and it was quite an experience,” O’Neal said. “In past years I played JV.”

She said practice is important, and you have to keep a positive attitude at all times.

“When you’re in the game you can’t doubt yourself, because if you doubt yourself then you’re going to mess up and then it’s going to hang on you and it’s going to carry over to the next possession, so if you make a mistake move on because the next play is coming and you have to make an impact on that play,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal has enjoyed attending Seymour High School and getting involved in the work base learning program where the students become involved in various activities or have jobs in the afternoons around the community.

“Last semester I was at Emerson (Elementary) with kindergartners, and I loved it,” O’Neal said. “This semester I got put with third-graders at Brown Elementary. So it’s a different site, bigger school and an older group of kids, and I like it just as much.”

O’Neal plans to become an elementary teacher.

“When I get older and I look back I’m probably going to thank my coaches and the staff here at SHS,” O’Neal said. “Even when times were tough and I didn’t get as much playing time this year, I’ve been really proud of myself because I never gave up, and I kept going. I think that’s prepared me for the next step and college, and when times get hard to not give up and I think that has made a huge impact on the underclassmen as well.”

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Name: Jenna O’Neal

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Jason O’Neal, Joanne Stahl

Siblings: Levi, Zane, Jorja, Josh

Sports: Basketball, four years

Athletics highlights: 2016 HHC champions

Organizations: Show choir

Plans after high school: Attend college, major in elementary education

Favorite food: Fettuccine alfredo

Favorite TV show: “Once Upon A Time”

Favorite musicians: Beatles

Favorite movie: “Tangled”

Favorite team: Kentucky Wildcats

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