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THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2007
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Daily photo by Michael Wetzel

One on one with ...
R.A. Hubbard's Chasity Puryear

Chasity Puryear, a talented 5-foot-3 athlete at R.A. Hubbard High, has dreams of playing pro basketball one day, but presently she is trying to help the Lady Chiefs win their first softball game in school history. When Puryear, a junior,
isn't the starting pitcher, she's stopping balls at shortstop. She also is busy this spring as a member of the school's track and field team, where she competes in the 110-meter hurdles. Recently Puryear fielded 10 questions from Daily Assistant Sports Editor Michael Wetzel.

Question: What makes attending and playing ball for R.A. Hubbard so special?

Answer: Our pride and legendary history. We get a lot done in academics, too, but most people don't think about academics when they think about Hubbard. I know the school is named after a longtime principal, Richard Alexander Hubbard.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about softball?

A: A couple of years ago, I kept asking why we didn't have a softball team. The boys have a baseball team, so where's our softball team? This is just our second year, and we haven't won yet, but we're getting better. I was fortunate to score the first run in the team's history. As a pitcher, it can be dangerous out there. That ball comes back to the mound fast sometimes. Softball is fun, but it is new to us. Most of us didn't grow up playing softball like some of the players at these other schools.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about track?

A: I love running the 110 hurdles, and I know I can win the state. Last year I fell jumping the second hurdle and Jasmine Patton (of Hazlewood High) won. She's fast, and she can jump those hurdles, but she had better watch out for me this year.

Q: What sport have you tried, but found it to be difficult and absolutely no fun?

A: Tennis. Last year at the MSRC (Math and Science Regional Competition), I tried playing tennis for the first time. I couldn't get the hang of moving back and forth waiting for the ball. I think I played two minutes and quit. It's tough. But I love watching Serena and Venus (Williams) on television.

Q: If you were hungry and only had $2, what would do about buying food?

A: I'd go to McDonald's, get a double cheeseburger with no onions and a Mountain Dew to drink.

Q: Is there an athlete you have admired since you were young?

A: Cynthia Cooper of the WNBA Houston Comets. When I was about 8, I saw Cooper play on TV. After the game, I told my mother I would be playing in the WNBA one day. I'm going to buy my mother and grandmother a house and car one day.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: Right now, I am trying to lose weight. So when I get up in the morning, I've been running, and when I'm not at practice, I like spending time with my family, my mom, my grandmother and my nephew.

Q: What are your summer plans?

A: I have been invited to the Lawrence County Upward Bound (college preparatory program). That will run from the end of May to the end of June. Then I will play AAU ball and continue to train for basketball.

Q: Is there somebody who has athletic skills you are jealous of?

A: No. I can do just as good as anybody if I put my mind to it. I just have to work hard.

Q: If you had a magic potion to improve one aspect of your game, where would the change be?

A: I'm blessed with my skills, but maybe a little more speed wouldn't hurt.

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