Gather here. Go far. That’s the motto of Northeastern State University and those are words that RiverHawk freshman Courtney Lee has taken to heart as she begins her college days at NSU.
“To me those words mean that if you come here you’re setting yourself up for future success and you’ll be able to go far in whatever you want to do, “said Lee. “My older brother came here and he’s now a physical therapist and is doing really well and that’s what I see as a possibility for me.”
Courtney attended Central Sallisaw High School where she was the senior class valedictorian and a standout basketball player for the Lady Tigers. But now as the little fish in the big pond, so to speak, she’s found life a little more challenging.
“Playing basketball on this level was different at first. I was used to starting every game and playing all the time in high school and now I’m coming in as a freshman and having to prove myself again and put more work into the game than before. But it’s starting to pay off and I’m starting to get the minutes I knew I could which comes from hard work and the constant support of family and friends.”
The decision to attend NSU was an easier one for Courtney to make having seen the success of her brother. But there were also things she was looking for as an athlete.
“I wanted to find a place that felt like home but wasn’t too far from my actual home and where I felt like I would fit in. And when I came to visit NSU all my questions were answered. It is close to home, and I got a lot of love from the girls that were here already.”
On the academic side, Courtney is pleased with what she has seen so far.
“The class sizes are pretty small, so I get to know my professors and classmates. The professors are all very approachable if I have questions and they teach different classes during the week so if I have to be gone for basketball, I can attend the same class on a different day.”
Courtney describes herself as determined, unselfish and hardworking—a trait she says is exampled by her parents. Even though the challenge of basketball and school take up a lot of her time, when she does have free time she likes to hang out with her roommates and see a movie or watch TV. When she can get home, likes to go hunting with her dad. Courtney is studying to be a speech pathologist or physical therapist when she graduates.