Originally created 06/04/06

Young player takes a leading role on her teams



Lauren Snyder was a little surprised when a fifth-grader asked for her autograph at a basketball game this year.

"It made me feel special," said Lauren, a North Augusta resident who just completed her sophomore year at Westminster Schools of Augusta. "I hope I set a good example."

With two more high school basketball seasons in front of her, Lauren, 16, is six points shy of breaking the school's career scoring record.

She has scored 1,226 points while playing for Westminster's varsity since eighth grade. This year, she was named to the all-state team.

The team's most valuable player, Lauren contributes in many ways, said her coach, Greg Wise. She was second on the team in assists and third in steals in addition to averaging more than 16 points a game. "She has no ego whatsoever. I'm proud to be her coach," Wise said.

A co-captain of the team her sophomore year, Lauren exhibits many good qualities, her coach said.

"She's a leader and a great person to be around," Wise said.

The team finished 16-13 overall and made it to the Georgia Independent School Association's elite-eight playoffs.

"We couldn't have done it without her," Wise said.

This summer, Lauren will be playing with the Amateur Athletic Union Georgia Sting basketball team.

And she hopes to lead Westminster to the state playoffs again next year.

"Next season, we will have a much better team just because of the experience," she said. "I'd like to have a shot at winning state. I think we have that chance."

Not only does Lauren excel on the basketball court, she is a stellar athlete in two other sports.

She has been playing on the school's soccer team since eighth grade and was the second-leading scorer this year. She also made the all-region team.

In addition to earning letters in soccer and basketball, Lauren also played softball for Westminster and was named most valuable player for the team.

Lauren has a 4.0 grade-point average and recently received the Rotary International Female Scholar Athlete Sports Award from the Augusta West and Augusta South Rotary clubs.

She recently was elected junior class president.

Lauren hopes that basketball will remain in her future after high school.

"I'd like to play college basketball for a small school," she said.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.