Will Rogers College High School senior Julianna Matlock’s love for basketball has influenced her life in many ways, including her plans after graduation.
“I’ve committed to play basketball at Eastern Oklahoma State College where I’ll go for two years to get my associate’s and then hopefully go to school in Texas to become a physical therapist. I’ve dealt with two ankle injuries, so I understand the importance of physical therapy, and I will always want to be involved in sports in some way.
“I’ve been a basketball girl my whole life. This year is my third time going to state for basketball–I’ve played varsity during all four years of high school. Coach Adkism has been involved in my life in many ways. I don’t know what I’d do without the supportive environment, honestly. And being able to experience going to state has been incredible.”
Julianna credits Coach Adkism with pushing her to develop her athletic skills: “Oh my goodness, I used to fall over while standing straight up. Coach A has put a lot of work into me–early practices, late practices–it’s been four years of him just spending time in the gym with me. He’s really helped me stay on top of becoming a better basketball player, and that’s really one of the reasons I've gotten into college.”
Coach Carlin Adkism says he can’t wait to watch Julianna become a great success: “Julianna impacted the lady ropers basketball program–from her leadership to her work ethic, and dedication, she has checked all the boxes when it comes to being a student athlete. You could not ask for a better individual!”
Julianna says there are more teachers and team members at Will Rogers who have helped her through high school: “Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Ballew definitely had a big impact. Mr. Smitherman was there during my early stages of high school to offer a helping hand during those awkward years. Mr. Smitherman reaches out to so many other kids. He is so relatable and will help you with anything. I also love my librarians, Ms. Ham and Ms. Brucks! They’ve become my other go-to people when I need advice or help. All of these people have definitely had an influence on my life.”
Her advice for upcoming seniors: “Don’t take anything too seriously, and just go with the flow. It will get stressful, but it will be okay! You just need to see your senior year through to the finish line. As soon as spring break hits, it’s gonna fly by. I feel like I was just a freshman yesterday! It’s incredible to see how time flies.”
The Will Rogers College High School graduation will take place Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m. at Expo Pavilion, 4145 East 21st St.