By Mike Hastings
When Savannah LeGate walked off the basketball court for the last time as a member of the Christ Presbyterian Academy’s varsity basketball team, she had so many reasons to do so with her head held high.
She has been a member of the team since the eighth grade. Her 1,774 career points and 1,222 career rebounds are all-time CPA records. In her career, she averaged 57 percent from the field, and 2.1 blocks per game.
Her senior year, she averaged 17.6 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, leading the Lady Lions to a 26-7 record, and a District Championship. She scored 25 double doubles and was named All-District in the regular season and MVP of the District 12-AA Tournament.
But if you have had the pleasure of watching Savannah play over the years, as I have, you know her value to the team goes way beyond numbers. Her joy and enthusiasm is contagious and her teammates rally around her. That leadership has helped the Lady Lions continue to over-achieve, and have fun while doing so.
“I love my team, we’ve gotten so close,” Savannah says.
Love is a key word in describing Savannah’s school experience. Her favorite teacher, Ben Ellis was battling esophageal cancer and Savannah turned her 20% project into a “Be Loving” campaign to honor him. She sold T-shirts and soon it caught on. When he passed away in 2016, more than 400 CPA students serenaded him, led by Savannah.
“Mr Ellis was an amazing person and he taught us all to love each other,” Savannah said.
That love helped bring the CPA team together this year.
“People ask me what my favorite memory is and naturally they think it would be when we won states, but for me it was when Carrington (Washburn) hit the shot at the buzzer to win districts this year.
“Last year, when we lost in sectionals, I was crying and couldn’t get my shoes untied. Carrington came over and helped me as we were both crying So this year when she hit that shot, things came around full circle,” she said.
As for Savannah’s mom, CPA head coach Becky LeGate, Savannah’s last game was the end of an era. Her daughter Faith was a senior when Savannah was an eighth-grader and CPA won the state championship. This year marked the ninth and final year she and husband Kevin will be coaching one of their children.
“For me, it’s more about the time together,” Becky said. “When kids get to high school and start driving, times with parents are limited. As a coach, I see them more, so its priceless,” she said, adding: “My favorite times were the rides to school together.”
Love - of a family, of a teacher, of a school, of a game, of teammates - that’s how you can define Savannah LeGate’s career. Numbers just won’t do.
And as a fan, I wish her much more of the same in the future.
Athlete Profile - Savannah LeGate