She knows how to squeeze into the paint, or shoot the ball from the area of paint between the free throw lines. Her quick step progresses her past her defender on the court. She scored 37 points this season when UWG played against Lee University. Katrina Littlepage, a point guard for the women’s basketball team and a UWG senior, knows how to play a game that fulfills her.
“I love basketball because it brings me relief from stress, and it also helps me develop relationships with longtime friends,” said Littlepage. “Without basketball, I feel my life would be completely different than what it is.”
Littlepage learned to play shortly after learning to walk and joined her first basketball team at seven years old. Her brother also played; he inspired her to pick up the sport.
“I wanted to be like my brother, so I did everything he did,” Littlepage said. “When I play, I always think of my brother because without him pushing me, I probably wouldn’t still be playing.”
The basketball team and coaches are like family to her.
“They don’t only want us to play ball, but they really care about us graduating and our well-being,” she said. “Not every school that you go to has those two aspects that I feel are very important in growing as a person and a team.”
Before she played for UWG two years ago, Littlepage was on a junior college basketball team in Mississippi, where she learned how to lead and take control on the court. The skills she acquired there reflect three of the qualities she offers to the UWG team.
“What makes me a standout on the team is leadership, fearfulness and positive energy,” said Littlepage. “No matter the situation, I go into every game with the mindset of winning no matter the opponent, so I try to give the same vibe to my team mates. I feel that that is something not everyone is genuinely able to do.”
Although basketball is not always easy, she does not back away from the challenges on the court.
“The hardest part about playing basketball is the constant grind it requires,” Littlepage said. “Playing this sport, you always have to improve your game to compete with others.”
While playing ball, Littlepage had to adjust to UWG and the women’s team after transferring from junior college.
“Last year was my first season here, and it was a big adjustment that took a lot longer than expected,” Littlepage said. “Being able to have such a great season and being able to adjust after last year’s bad season was a very big for me.”
Though she played well this year, her first season at UWG had the number seven written all over it; that was how many points she scored. With that average loomed doubt.
“I was starting to lose my love for the game because of my performance,” she said. “I didn’t think I would have such a great season after last year’s season. I overcame it by realizing that playing this sport is a very big blessing. I started looking at the positives about everything and just let God take control.”
Instead of playing for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) league in the U.S., her dream is to play overseas.
“I feel that overseas is more of an option for me because I would be able to travel different parts of the world while doing something I love,” she said.
As a female player herself, she “passes the ball” and uplifts other women within the sport, too.
“I would want to tell female ball players that although we’re not the main representation of the sport, we can still play at a high level, compete and inspire people with what we do.”