by Darius Whitehurst
Is the road to success paved by sacrifice?
Senior Gerrard Simpkins certainly thinks so. Playing basketball ever since since he was in preschool, he has made certain sacrifices from his time, hard work and full out effort on the court.
“I made certain sacrifices like leaving my public school, which I miss a lot. And being with the friends I grew up with; not being able to spend my senior year with them hurts. Also not being able to walk across the stage with them,” said Mr. Simpkins.
Mr. Simpkins’ passion for basketball ignited when he was just five years old. He said it started when he had “a little stand up hoop I got for Christmas, just throwing the ball in the hoop. I had a love for it ever since then.”
Mr. Simpkins reclassified to Bishop Sullivan last year from a First Colonial High School.
“It’s different coming from my old school, First Colonial High School, cause, you know, we never was in the gym this much, or I don’t really think the coach was as passionate about the game as the coach is for here now,” said Mr. Simpkins.
Mr. Simpkins is referring to head basketball coach, Chris Harris who has been coaching at Bishop Sullivan for eight years. Although never winning a state championship, Coach Harris still pushes his players to achieve greatness. His players say he has a certain level of excellence that he requires them to meet, and they must be dedicated to the team and getting better.
“But you know I like it because we are in the gym almost every day, and, you know, we’re always weightlifting and stuff so we’re always getting better, and he has time to work with us individually. We didn’t get to do that at my old high school; you either practice, or you come in the gym if you wanted to or not, but that’s about it,” said Mr. Simpkins.
Mr. Simpkins has great aspirations for this season. He is hoping to go all the way and be on the first Bishop Sullivan basketball team to win a state championship in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. Mr. Simpkins said that Coach Harris is not pushing them too hard.
“He sees that everybody wants the same thing, so he’s trying to get us what we want and he wants the same thing and that’s a ring, and I think we can do that this year,” said Mr. Simpkins.
All of Mr. Simpkins’ hard work has not gone to waste; he has already secured a future in college basketball with a full scholarship offer from High Point University.