Athlete of the Week — Dazia ChandlerWAHS senior is ready for anything on and off the court
March 2, 2017
By Abigail Floyd | Contributing Writer
West Ashley High School senior and Varsity Girls Basketball Captain Dazia “Lil Bit” Chandler is dedicated on and off the court. “She is the epitome of a coach’s player,” says Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Maria Williams. “You can tell her to do something and count on her to do it.” Chandler was a bit caught off guard when she learned she was chosen as the Athlete of the Week because her season just ended. “It was kind of a surprise,” says Chandler. “I was really proud.”
Sometimes games go sideways and the Wildcats don’t always win, but Chandler manages to keep her cool and work hard to fix any mistakes. “We had a lot of ups and downs,” says Chandler. “You’ve just got to play through your mistakes.”
Chandler focuses very hard when she plays. She has learned to rely on her teammates for support. “As a team we know how to come together off the court,” she says. Chandler always tries to stay focused and block out disruptions when she’s playing or practicing. “Whenever one of us is going through something, we know we can talk to each other,” says Chandler.
Two of her biggest motivators, Chandler claims, are her dad and her teammate Fy. “She can be hard on me,” says Chandler. “But she always pushes me because she’s just trying to make me better.” Chandler says her dad motivates her in a more supportive way. “He’s always there for me after a rough day or a rough game,” she says.
Part of what makes Chandler such an impressive athlete is her level of commitment to truly being a student-athlete. She not only juggles school and basketball, she also competes in four events for the West Ashley High Track & Field Team, is the Vice President of For Ladies Only (FLO), is in the NJROTC program, is a National Society of High School Scholar, and is a member of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA). Chandler also works two part-time jobs, one at McDonald’s and another at a juice bar at Citadel Mall.
Being involved in so many extracurricular activities, sports, and work is not easy. “It’s hard. It can be stressful at times,” says Chandler. “But in the end it’s worth it because in real life you’ve gotta learn to juggle things.”
Chandler has received many scholarship offers and opportunities to play basketball and / or compete in track & field in college. Right now, Chandler says it’s looking like she will go to Wingate University where she plans to study athletic training. After she graduates, Chandler wants to work for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an athletic trainer.
Even though she is still in high school, Chandler has been taking as many courses as she can to help her reach this goal. She is currently a Career & Technology Education (CTE) Completer for Sports Medicine. She was even able to take a Worked-Based Learning course that gave her hands-on experience on the sidelines taking care of injured players at the high school.
Reflecting on her time at West Ashley High, Chandler expressed that she couldn’t be happier. When she was a freshman, she moved to Goose Creek and was no longer able to catch a bus to school. Her parents tried to convince her to transfer to Goose Creek High School, but Chandler couldn’t give up all of the opportunities West Ashley High had to offer. “I’m really glad I stayed here and stuck it out,” says Chandler. “I couldn’t leave here and not play for this team. I couldn’t see myself playing for anyone else other than Coach Williams.”
“What is there not to say about her?” says Williams, “She is a beautiful person. She has a beautiful spirit.” West Ashley High is lucky to have such a dedicated student-athlete. “I am so going to miss her,” says Williams.