Lizzy Shaw pursues childhood dream

Ben Eimer and Julie Kang

Growing up, South senior Lizzy Shaw always had a basketball in her hands. Friends and family found her on the sidelines of her sister’s practices mimicking the players. She dreamed of playing, dribbling right, cutting to the basket, rising up over defenders and laying the ball softly off the glass. However, one would’ve never guessed how she got there. It was these dreams that led her to where she is now, with a basketball scholarship to The University of Chicago.

Shaw’s work ethic is unmatched, according to Steve Weissenstein, head basketball coach. Shaw’s ability to lead a team is apparent. Weissenstein said Shaw persevered through an injury last season.

“When she is in the gym, she is in there to really work hard,” Weissenstein said. “She gives it her all even when she broke her wrist. She still went to practice everyday, handling what she could do with her right hand and tried to stay in shape by going to the fitness center.”

Along with Shaw’s outstanding basketball resume, she also has an impressive body of work in the classroom, according to Weissenstein. She is enrolled in Academy, which is a set of advanced English, Language, and History courses. On the day prior to her basketball games, Shaw says there are different things she does to help prepare. She says the Hamilton soundtrack brings excitement, and motivation for her to play her best.

“I like listening to Hamilton before warm-ups because it helps me get pumped,” Shaw said. “I remember that I had one of my best games and it has been my warm up playlist ever since.”

According to Shaw’s mother, Laura Shaw, Lizzy works hard, as she strives to become a better person mentally and physically. She begged her doctor to take off her cast so she could continue playing basketball. Basketball is so beneficial to her life, she would do anything to get a chance to have a ball in her hand, according to Laura.

“She had a couple of injuries and it is good to take time, but she didn’t want to  rest, she wanted to work on the part of her that still worked,” Laura said.

Senior Liz LaPierre, one of Lizzy’s teammates, describes Lizzy as someone who is crucial to the team. According to LaPierre, she sees Lizzy as a person to look up to. Lizzy reminds everyone to do their best and is portrayed as a person who motivates her teammates, according to LaPierre.

“Lizzy is really dedicated and always worked really hard, so when I play, I always remind myself to try as hard as Lizzy,” LaPierre said. “She motivates everyone because she works really hard, she gives her all and it makes everyone want to try hard and be like her.”

According to shaw she hopes to stay in touch with the game. “I will probably stay in touch with the game, but I don’t want to play pro,” Lizzy said. “Playing basketball in high school gives you a lot of life lessons you can carry on in life.” Lizzy said.