Kacey Hamlin, a senior at Briarcliff High School, is a devoted member of the Briarcliff community, epitomizing the belonging, excellence, acceptance, respect, and service represented by the Briarcliff Bear’s motto.
As an integral part of the varsity girls’ basketball team, Hamlin recently reached the incredible feat of 500 assists, 500 rebounds and 1000 points, achievements that required long hours of arduous practice and selflessness throughout her years on the team. Hamlin has also been named an All-League award-winner, and an All-Section award-winner. All Section is an award given only to the top forty players in the section every season, and Hamlin’s achievements landed her in this category.
Although much of Hamlin’s time is spent on the court, she gives her all when it comes to academics. Her high grades and perseverance throughout her rigorous courses contributed to the varsity basketball team’s scholar athlete award, which is awarded to a team with an overall GPA of 90 or above. Hamlin, along with her teammates, worked extremely hard in the classroom to reach this collective goal.
“I have been playing with Kacey since third grade and every season that we play together I learn how much she cares about her team and its success,” said teammate Maddie Plank when asked to comment on her experience playing alongside Kacey. “She fights through her own physical and mental fatigue to put the team in the best position to win. It is sad that it is our last season together, but I am thankful for the many seasons in which we have shared the court,”
It is quite difficult to maintain high grades alongside intense athletic dedication, but Hamlin has proven that one need not choose one or the other, as she excels on the court and in the classroom with grace. In fact, she’s even found time, along with her older sister, Taylor, to coach both the 6th grade girls and 8th grade boys’ tri-county basketball teams.
With many years of both academic and athletic challenges to be conquered, the Briarcliff community is looking forward to seeing what Hamlin has in store.
Q&A with Kacey Hamlin
Q: How do you balance community involvement, as well as academic achievement, with the commitment of athletics?
A: During basketball season there is always a lot going on. I definitely try to finish a lot of my homework during lunch and frees. Otherwise, there are many late nights after practice and games that I’ll stay up to make sure I complete my assignments.
Q: What motives you most on the field, court, etc.?
A: Ever since I was an infant I was watching basketball games; therefore, I grew up instilled with a very competitive nature. I am always trying my hardest and doing whatever it takes to improve. Having three older sisters who were all basketball players, helps me stay focused and makes me want to keep working hard. Having such a support system within my family also really motivates me to push myself harder every day.
Q: What do you consider to be your best accomplishment (could be academic, athletic, community-related)?
A: My best accomplishment is receiving the All-State honors for basketball my sophomore and junior years. I hope to be able to do the same my senior year.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of achieving feats for your team?
A: The most rewarding part about being on a team like mine is the moments we spend together away from the court. This team loves to share laughs and help each other have a good time so it makes it even more special when you are with girls who enjoy and look forward to each other’s company.
Q: Is there someone who has inspired you, or helped you meet your achievements?
A: I feel like, throughout this whole process, there are a lot of eyes on the bond between my father and I due to the fact that he’s my coach, but I also have to give my appreciation to my mom because whenever I am stressed or having a bad day she is the person to tell me everything’s going to work out okay and I can’t thank her enough for the support she has given me.
Q: How do you involve yourself in the community?
A: I involve myself within the community by going to as many other sporting events as I can, when not at a practice or game of my own, to support my fellow student-athlete peers. I also coach two tri-county basketball teams with my older sister, Taylor. We coach the 6th grade girls and 8th grade boys’ teams. I love helping the future bears. I’m also a member of the Pediatric Cancer Club and Red Cross Club at my high school.
Q: If you could describe your experience as a student-athlete in three words, what would they be?
A: My experience as a student-athlete in three words is: busy, competitive, and rewarding. Especially during basketball, mine and my family’s lives are very busy because we are constantly heading to practice, playing a game of our own, or going to scout a game. Even in school, there is a competitive atmosphere. Not in a bad way, people just want to perform well which is a good thing, just like the basketball court. Being a student athlete is the most rewarding because you get to share memories and experiences with certain people that you probably wouldn’t have been as close with if they weren’t playing alongside you.