The complete athlete: Athletic duo portrays strong work ethic to other teammates

Published 12:41 am Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sixth-graders Graci Gamberi and Marlie Hargon rarely slow down.

Between practices and competitions for multiple sports, the Cathedral School duo had just enough time to squeeze in an AYA basketball game Saturday morning at Trinity Episcopal Day School.

Their dedication to athletics, coach Diane Hargon said, spreads a great message of maintaining a strong work ethic.

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“They are the only two sixth graders on the team,” she said. “And, they are such leaders.”

Juggling not only basketball, Gamberi and Hargon both play softball and cheer and are gymnasts on top of their studies.

Gamberi said it can sometimes get a little hectic.

“A lot of times the practices are at the same time,” she said. “Sometimes I have to choose which one I want to go to. Last week I had gymnastics, sat down for five minutes and then went to softball practice. Directly from there, we both went to basketball practice.”

Despite the scheduling difficulties, Gamberi said the hard work is definitely worth it.

“We both like all of those things,” she said. “It still allows us to do all the things we want to do.”

The busy pair admitted it isn’t always easy to keep their spirits up — especially when things aren’t going their way like Saturday morning.

Within the final minutes of the game, Gamberi and Hargon’s team — Tidal Wave — gave up two quick scores to the opposing team, ultimately handing them a loss.

However, Gamberi knows it was never an option to give up, taking multiple shots at the basket and missing by just inches on numerous occasions.

“I have a team that counts on me. I want to set a good example for the other kids,” Gamberi said. “We like to win, too. We definitely don’t like to lose.”

Holding on to a strong work ethic makes it easier to reach her goals, too, Hargon said.

“If you want something, you’ve got to show how bad you want it,” she said.

Ultimately, Diane Hargon hopes her daughter and Gamberi can continue their devotion for quite some time.

“They are going to have to work with different people with different personalities and different talents, but it transfers to their life,” she said. “I know they know what to do and when they don’t fulfill it, I just try to be an encourager — just don’t give up.”