This year, Archer has continued to celebrate the incredible journey of basketball star Maia Barnett ‘14. Barnett has competed in club basketball ever since she was nine years old. Starting at such a young age, she discovered her passion for basketball.
The Oracle reached out to Barnett’s friends and family and inquired about her journey as a basketball star. Barnett started participating in the Archer Athletics program in her first year at Archer as a 7th grader.
“Basketball was her first sport she started to play and the first she took seriously,” shares Gina Campbell, her mother. “I have watched [Maia] learn and develop an understanding for the game… which has allowed her to excel through the years.”
Over the years, Barnett has played volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, track, softball and karate.”It was a big deal for me when I gave [karate] up for basketball,” she says.
Participating in sports has taught Barnett that working with others is a “crucial skill to obtain success.” She told the Oracle that sports have helped her learn how to be more of a leader, how to keep a good work ethic on and off the court and to never be afraid of failure for “there’s always room for improvement.”
Throughout her years as a basketball player, Barnett indicates that her mom has always been her role model: “She is always giving 110% effort, and I try my best to do the same.”
Campbell says Barnett’s senior year was “BUSY! Watching Maia applying for colleges while also providing coaches with game video and stats as well as college visits was challenging. It was also exciting knowing that there was a possibility that she would have the opportunity to play basketball at the next level.”
Marcela Riddick ’16 tells the Oracle: “Maia has become like an older sister to me in the two or so years I have known her. She is an incredible athlete and incredible friend and leader.”
“Being the first Archer girl to get a full ride for basketball is absolutely incredible,” Riddick adds. “It shows that with hard work and determination, along with time and skill, you can do anything.”
Alyssa Downer ’17 played alongside Barnett for Archer’s Varsity basketball team and track team. Downer has known Barnett since her first year at Archer; track and club basketball practices have strengthened their relationship.
Downer says, “Maia pushes me to keep going and give 100% especially when I feel like I can’t anymore.” She adds, “I admire Maia’s determination and tenacity. Before big games, and even during track before big meets, I’d tell her how nervous I was and she’d always tell them that I’d do well and everything would be okay.”
Riddick adds, “One thing that always stands out to me at games is how she always wants and needs the teams and fans cheering. Team support is so important to her, and it is reflected in how she plays.”
On April 16, National Sports Signing Day, Barnett signed with Western Washington University (WWU). “The school is so beautiful and I know I will get a great education. The coaching staff and team [are] great and I know I’ll fit in very well. I am very excited about going to WWU, yet sad about leaving home. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me.”
The Archer community hopes that Barnett “finds happiness and success in her college years and beyond” and will continue to support her in her journey to represent the Vikings.
Barnett’s mother has some final advice: “Be yourself… enjoy your experience…[and] study!”
Barnett shared photos that exemplify her journey as a star athlete. All photos are used with permission from Maia Barnett ’14.