Learning to be a leader in life

The Baltimore Sun

Severn senior guard Katie Dickerson methodically runs down the list of activities she participates in. That includes four years of varsity basketball, being president of the Interact and Political Awareness clubs and the Methodist Youth Foundation, singing in the school's vocal ensemble and Annapolis Youth Chorale, riding her horse, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average; one has to wonder how she does it all. "It's hard sometimes," Dickerson said, "but I think if you love doing something, than you're going to make time for it." One of her biggest loves is playing basketball, and as the No. 8 Admirals shooting guard and team captain, she's doing everything she can to help the team successfully defend the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference title it captured last year. Dickerson is averaging eight points per game for the Admirals (3-0) and brings a smart all-around game to the floor. Along with basketball, she has played varsity tennis since her freshman year and also picked up lacrosse as a sophomore. Dickerson plans to play basketball at Emory College and wants to get into the medical field.

How rewarding is everything you do?

It's all very rewarding and for different reasons. Community service is obviously rewarding for helping others. Playing basketball - so much comes out of it being with teammates. You really take something different from everything you do.

How are things different for the team as defending league champs?

We've got a lot to live up to. We are No. 8 in the Baltimore area, which is huge for a B Conference team. A school like this - we're really small - so it's a big deal. And everybody is after us. They all think "maybe we can beat them this year."

What is the key to the team's success?

We have a phenomenal coach [Chuck Miller]. He really is absolutely amazing. And then just the girls, we've got some good team chemistry. We play smart ball. We're not necessarily the fastest or the biggest or the most talented, but we play good ball and we really care a lot about it, so we bring a lot of heart. I've definitely enjoyed being on this team. The girls are all great. We're like family on and off the court, so that really helps.

What is the toughest responsibility that comes as captain ?

If things aren't going well or if somebody has a problem and comes to you, you're the one who has to work it out. You're not always everyone's best friend when you're captain of the team and with leadership comes responsibility, so it's sort of up to you to work things out.

What do you enjoy most about basketball?

I think it's just how fast it moves and also the team aspect. With only 10 girls on the team, you really get to know your teammates and it's so important in basketball, maybe more than any other sport.

What was the biggest basket you ever made?

I was 13 playing for a [Green Hornets] club team and I hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. It was the most amazing thing. I think it actually almost hit the ceiling, so I was lucky. It was a definite high. Basketball games are always a really great experience - the adrenaline is pumping and you have that going on so it's really rewarding.

Do you have a motto you live by?

My slogan is "Be the change you want to see in the world." I think just realizing that people can change the world - even from a small individual standpoint, so that's my motto. Ghandi actually said that.

What's it like being a senior?

You're a big fish, and that's fun. You get a lot more leadership opportunities being a senior and that's really fun for me. I love it. It's going to be hard for me to leave this place.

What does it take to be a strong leader?

I think a strong leader not only leads, but sort of compels others to want to be led. A leader isn't necessarily always the one who is speaking up, but someone who also leads by example and has people follow them because they are good people instead of shoving things in their faces.

What do you enjoy most about the holiday season?

I guess it would be the concerts. I have eight concerts [last week] I'm singing in. It's always so much fun to get up on stage and sing Christmas music.

How did you get interested in the medical field?

I've always really enjoyed biology as a subject, but I've always wanted to do something that I felt was going to impact a lot of people. I just love helping people.

What made you go out for the lacrosse team your sophomore year?

I've always played a lot of basketball and I was sort of looking for something new, so I picked up a lacrosse stick and said: "Well, I'm at Severn, so why not."

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