Senior forward Kierra Haynes makes Dorsey look good. Along with being a key member of the girls basketball team, Haynes works to keep the campus clean as a member of the Campus Beatification program.
This past season, the Dons had a 16-7 overall record and an 8-0 league record, leading them to a division II City Section Championship game appearance. Haynes made 12.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Her contributions earned her a spot on the CIF All-City Division II team.
The team put in hours of training in the offseason to prepare. Haynes was grateful that the girls basketball team practice their craft over the summer.
“The sun was killing us, but it showed that we needed to stay running and stay conditioned because it’s helping us in the playoffs,” Haynes said after a 55-35 win over South Gate in the second round of the playoffs. “I’m glad that we did off-season workouts.”
During that game, Haynes scored a season high of 20 points; her best rebounding performance came in December when Dorsey defeated Venice, Haynes made 17 boards. Against Locke in January, Haynes made a season high of eight assists.
Having been part of the team all four years, earning the Coliseum League title was special. Dorsey girls basketball coach Sherlett Newbill held the team accountable by doing grade checks.
“That really pushed us to stay above a certain GPA,” Haynes said.
Her coaches kept her motivated to play basketball, Haynes considers them as family.
“Without my coaches, I wouldn’t have good grades, I wouldn’t be so focused.” Haynes said. “They really just push me to go hard.”
Haynes is a member of the Upward Bound program where she received tutoring and help with the SAT and ACT. A lover of poetry, Haynes’s favorite class is AP Literature; she has a 3.2 GPA.
“I like to write poems about the weather,” Haynes said. “Just weather and relationships.”
Along with playing basketball, Haynes runs track, participating in the 100m and the relay.
“It keeps me conditioned and helps me keep my wind on the court and off the court,” she said.
When managing the rigors of being a student athlete, Haynes resorts to prayer for help. She reminds herself how a typical college workload will be more challenging.
“Homework kills me,” Haynes said. “Sometimes I have to stay up and I just tell myself college is gonna be way worse.”
During nutrition and lunch, she works with Campus Beautification by cleaning up the school until the bell rings.
“It’s not a good look for our school to be dirty,” Haynes said. “No one else is gonna do it, how about I do it.”
Haynes started playing basketball at five years old and she grew up watching her brothers play. Haynes’ advice to young student athletes is to always take your academics seriously and to show gratitude to your mentors.
“Start off doing good because it’s gonna be hard to change all the bad things around,” she said. “Never give up, stay focused and thank your family.”
The L.A. Sentinel is looking for athletes with a strong academic background or currently volunteers to make L.A. a better place. Please contact Amanda Scurlock at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your Student Athlete of the Week. Cheerleaders and dance team members also qualify.