Sophomore scores several scholarships

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Sophomore scores several scholarships

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Not only is she the daughter of 6’10” Northwest principal Ralph Kitley, she is also an incredible athlete, a great student, and a warm friend.

Sophomore Elizabeth Kitley has been athletic for most of her life. While she began playing softball with her friends, she later transitioned to basketball and has become very committed to the sport.

“Elizabeth was a softball player, more focused on softball for about five or six years,” Kitley said. “She started to transition to basketball last year about this time and really focused in on it.”

Elizabeth originally fell in love with softball because it was a social ordeal. She traveled many places with her friends, winning games and making memories.

“When she finally made the transition, I don’t think it was my influence, I think it was more she realized the success she could have in it,” Kitley said.

Whether or not it was her father’s basketball history that made her want to begin playing, she certainly saw him as a role model.

“I was a basketball player and attended college [Wake Forest University] on a basketball scholarship,” Kitley said. “To have her make the transition to basketball was cool for me and then to have her get scholarship offers is also really cool.”

Kitley encouraged Elizabeth to become interested in basketball by taking her to games when she was younger, but he never pushed too hard. It was apparent that, at the time, she did not like attending.

“She fought me for years, but I never pushed [playing basketball] on her,” Kitley said.

When she began playing for the Northwest team, it was apparent that she had some real, raw talent. It did not go unnoticed.

“Of course with her being tall, that seemed like the natural way to go, and colleges started noticing as she played,” Kitley said.

The attention Elizabeth has received has been a result of not only her hard work, but the entire team’s. They have a history of success, even getting a chance to go the state championships.

“It’s a really great honor. It comes with hard work, though. We’ve been working really hard and it’s paying off,” Elizabeth said.

At this point, Elizabeth has been offered scholarships from High Point, UNC Charlotte, Elon, Wake Forest and most recently, Virginia Tech. As a sophomore, she has much to consider in making a decision, and she has quite a bit of time to do so.

“I’m still young so I don’t know what else will come. I’m not sure where I want to go yet, but it could be one of those,” Elizabeth said.

The first scholarship offer came from Elon back when Elizabeth was a freshman. Her family was proud and surprised to hear news about the offer.

“For me, it’s really been cool to see her get that first offer, and to see her get the scholarship to Wake Forest makes me a really proud dad,” Principal Kitley said.

Now with her genuine passion for basketball, Elizabeth and her father go to games all the time. While the WNBA is not quite as lucrative of a future for women as the NBA is for men, Principal Kitley knows that basketball will most likely not be a be-all-end-all to Elizabeth’s career; however, he wants her to reap all of the benefits that she can.

“To me, basketball is not the end. I want her to use basketball to help her get wherever she needs to go,” Kitley said.

Kitley wants Elizabeth to use basketball to get a scholarship so she may get a degree in whatever area she chooses to focus on.

“I want basketball to be that vehicle that gets her most of the way there,” Kitley said. “It’s nice to know she won’t have to take out a bunch of loans and graduate in debt.”

Most of all, Kitley wants Elizabeth to be content with whatever she chooses for her life.

“I want her to be happy and to achieve her career goals,” Kitley said.

As for Elizabeth, she isn’t quite sure what she wants for her life yet, and as she is still young, she has time to decide.

“I’m not sure yet what I really want to do,” Elizabeth said. “I might want to go into the medical field, but I definitely want to play [basketball] in college and it’s a great opportunity to go through education.”

Elizabeth is definitely humbled by her experiences and the opportunities she’s been given, and she intends to continue working hard so that she may set up a stable future for herself.

“It’s really gratifying because you know all your hard work is paying off and it really motivates you to keep going,” Elizabeth said. “It makes me want to get better so I can get even more offers.”

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