In her first year at Victory Christian School, Esther Keener has great expectations for the Lady Vikings' basketball team.
"I want to take it one step at a time. I'm going to shoot for state. I would love to go to state," said Esther, a junior whose ability to score has impressed the coaches at the private school in North Augusta.
Esther recently transferred to Victory after moving to the area from Folkston, Ga. Last year, while playing forward for Nassau Baptist School, she averaged more than 20 points per game as her team finished third in the state playoffs, ending a seven-year state title run for the private school.
Assistant coach Timmy Newton said Esther has the ability and temperament to be a team leader at Victory Christian.
"She's very easily coached. Many times, a person has the ability to play but they don't have the ability to be taught," he said.
The Victory Christian Lady Vikings have won three state championships in the last five years.
Newton said Esther helped the Lady Vikings volleyball team reach the state playoffs last fall, even though she is relatively new to the sport.
Owing mostly to family influnece, Esther has been playing basketball since sixth grade. "I've always loved the game. It's the sport of our family," said Esther, who has three siblings playing basketball.
Esther said her favorite sport is volleyball, which she has been playing for three years.
"I like the fact that I'm good at it," she said. "Just being able to hit the ball is really fun."
With volleyball season over, Esther is focused on improving her basketball skills.
"I didn't have as much competition (during my freshman and sophomore years in Folkston) to make myself better," she said. "Here, we play better teams."
Esther said she hopes to play volleyball in college, wherever that might be. She said her career goal is to become a chiropractor.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at email@example.com.