By Vern Hee
Shankara ball has hit the Beatty basketball courts. The “Shankster attack” has arrived, putting the sting back into the Beatty Hornets.
It may not be as great as Shaquille O’Neal’s type of ball but it is still potent.
Shankara Venezio is a senior, an all-around athlete and candidate for valedictorian at Beatty High school. Venezio plays three sports, volleyball, basketball and track and has lettered in all three.
In volleyball she was a middle hitter; in basketball she is a top shooter and in track she does distance running and pole vault.
Of all the sports, Venezio says basketball is her favorite.
“I love basketball because I like playing on a team, I like the team because we prosper off of other people’s achievements and we just work off each other,” remarked Venezio.
Her coach, Aimee Senior, says Venezio adds a much needed spark to the Hornets.
“She is one of the team captains and a great young lady to have on the team. She works hard, is a good student, which converts into a smart player on the floor, and she can play in any position. She has high expectations of herself, holds herself to them and will meet them. Shankara will be missed when she graduates and moves on. I have enjoyed every minute that I have coached and taught her,” said coach.
One of the most memorable experiences in sports for the young athlete was last year when the Lady Hornets went to state.
“Going to state was a good experience. It was really terrifying. It was exciting to make it that far, but we were scared. We went out there and played the worst we ever played. The environment was different and I think we were not really in it to make it all the way to the state championship game. We were just content to make it as far as we made it,” she said.
She says she does not plan on taking her game to college, but she is shooting for the sky as far her academic plans. Venezio is applying to Harvard. She wants to study the sciences and medicine. At Beatty High she has a 4.02 GPA and is number one in her class.
“My goal is to go to Harvard. It would be nice to get a scholarship. They also have good financial aid. You do not have to pay out of state tuition because it is Ivy League. I am thinking that is the only thing that will stop me is the ACT or SAT scores because they are not over achieving like they would want. I might take each one more time and see what I can do. If nothing else I am still going to apply. If I do not get in I will go and get a bachelors and then try to get into Harvard medical,” she said.
Harvard accepts 2,000 freshmen a year and just around 7 percent of the freshman who apply are accepted.
This industrious student has demonstrated her ability to do well in just about any class that involves science.
“My favorite classes are science. I want to go and study forensic medicine and I want to be able to perform autopsies on people. I think that would be very exciting. I loved anatomy. I love all things science,” said the lofty thinker.
Another of her interests lies in cars. She said taking apart a car is something she loves to get into in her spare time. She loves cars so much she took a couple of auto shop classes. Venezio loves getting down and dirty with the boys taking apart a Camaro or two. Besides the sciences the auto shop class ranks as one of her favorite classes.
James Benshoot, the auto shop teacher, feels Venezio will go far in life.
“Shankara is one of those students that every teacher wants to have in class. She works hard, wants to learn and stays with it until she masters the task. Shankara is currently in our Auto II program. Shankara has the skills and knowledge to repair and maintain her own car which she does,” said Benshoot.
The top student feels that she is driven to success by her family.
“I think I excel in school because of personal achievement. I like the way it makes me feel whenever I do well. I want to be the best that I know I can and I know what I am capable of and so I do not want to settle for something that is not my full potential. Basically I can not let myself not do well at things and if that does happen I get discouraged with myself,” said Venezio.
The number one student will always remember the small town she has lived in since she was four. She said it will be hard to leave the town and she will miss it.
“I am excited to leave Beatty and to be on my own and be independent. I will miss the small community and how you just know everyone and everyone is your friend. If you need someone, you can count on other people and living here you do not have to be scared. It’s not like Vegas where you need to lock the doors,” remarked Venezio.