Senior Zoie Dupree was the coach and the captain of her club volleyball team (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Senior Zoie Dupree plays volleyball for the Inglewood Sentinels. She also competed for the club team the South Central Starlings.  Along with sharpening her techniques in the sport, she also learned key lessons in leadership. She was a captain and the head coach of her club volleyball team.

“Communication is definitely key and you need that as a coach,” Dupree said. “If your message doesn’t get across the correct way, it messes up how the flow of things work.”

This school year marks the second season Dupree played on the varsity squad for the Sentinels. She noted how playing for a club taught her the basics of volleyball.

“It taught me the fundamentals for high school,” Dupree said. “Not a lot coaches take the time out to teach you.”

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Her efforts with the Starlings earned her a team MVP award.

“I think they saw all my dedication to the team, especially being the coach and the captain,” Dupree said. “They saw that I had the skills that not a lot of people had.”

Dupree also helped the Sentinels reach the first round of the playoffs this past season. She noted how the amount of practice increased to prepare for the postseason. Dupree cherished the time she spent with her teammates.

“We played in San Diego,” she said. “Just being on the bus ride with them for that one last time was very fun.”

For Dupree, being a student athlete is a fun experience because of the different opportunities it provided her.

“There was times where I had to put my academics first,” she said. “I always went back to my team and explained the situation.”

Dupree is taking two college courses, an English and an Economics class, along with her high school classes. Taking AP World History inspired Dupree to take college classes. Her favorite class is an EKG class.

“I want to be a nurse practitioner,” Dupree said. “Learning the fundamentals of the heart and the body in general is really important.”

For the past two years, Dupree has participated in the Play Equity Fund and the Brotherhood Crusade. Both organizations helped Dupree enhance her networking, communication, and leadership skills.

Working with the Play Equity Fund led Dupree to an internship with the Los Angeles Rams during their training camp.

“Working with the Rams, it opened my mind to different opportunities and jobs and careers in sports,” Dupree said. “It was challenging but it was also fun and then being able to see how they work with the players and how they work with the community was something else.”