Ball Over All - myfoxcarolinas.com

Ball Over All

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WEDDINGTON -- Snow-days are the ultimate celebration for students going through the doldrums of winter. Sled riding, snowballs -- it's all about goofing off and having a fun time.

For some, however, it's just another day of getting in work.

Stephanie Watts (Weddington High), Taylor Helms (Cuthbertson) and Erin Whalen (Ardrey Kell) each play basketball for different high schools. Today, their work ethic has driven them to a gym here in Union County, where slick roads and snow angels were just an afterthought.

"These are three of the top shooting guards in North Carolina," said Stephen Watts -- Stephanie's father, and the girl's Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) coach since the fifth grade. "So (the snow) hasn't slowed them down at all. Weather doesn't slow them down."

Stephanie, a junior, is rated the 10th-best player at her position in the country, by ESPN.com. She has already verbally committed to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Whalen, a sophomore, has multiple offers from schools such as Virginia Tech and Helms is currently leading Union County in 3-point shooting at 44 percent.

They didn't get this good by just sitting around.

"Sometimes you want to lay in bed all day but you know that if you want to do well in the game and play to your full potential, you have to keep getting shots up," Stephanie Watts said.

Since most public gyms in the area were closed due to "Snowmageddon," the girls called every gym they could think of to try to get space for a few hours of drills this afternoon. After about ten calls without any luck, Secrest Grove Baptist Church in Weddington took them in to their indoor gym.

"I mean, yeah, of course you're a kid and you want to play in the snow," Whalen said. "But at the end of the day you know you have to work to get what you want."

And with all of the accolades they continue to compile, and such a bright future shining ahead -- it's easy to see how that work is paying off.

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