WOOD RIVER - Mia Plumb is not only strong on the basketball court, but she is the No. 1-ranked student in her class at East Alton-Wood River High School and at present is the top candidate for the valedictorian role of her school's seniors.

East Alton-Wood River standout student/girls basketball player Mia Plumb.She thanked her best friend, Paul Nichols, for always being a person she could count on in her life.

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"He has always been there for me whether it be a good laugh, a deep conversation, or just hanging out," she said. "It’s amazing to have someone support you 100 percent no matter what."

Lyndsey Perez is Mia's head girls basketball coach with the Oilers.

Mia has been a member of the EA-WR varsity basketball girls for four years. Mia is a Midwest Members Credit Union Female Athlete of the Month for the Oilers.

She said she has tried to demonstrate leadership in her school both athletically and academically, going the extra mile to aid others, being involved in other extracurricular activities, and being involved in the community.

The Oilers' senior has been playing girls' basketball for 10 years and said what she likes most about the sport is that it is a safe space to escape reality, problems, or stress, whether it be the time at practice or the time at games each evening.

Athlete of the Month is sponsored by

"The combination of both academics and sports has helped me learn a valuable life skill of learning how to balance everything," she said. "Academically, though, it has helped me learn how to create goals for myself and complete them on time.

"Athletically, I have learned how to perform under pressure. All of these skills have developed the person I am today because these are all attributes that I will need to be successful as an adult."

She said at present she is not planning on playing sports in college and is committed to the University of Mississippi.

"The University of Mississippi allows three minors to be turned into a major, and therefore I will be getting a minor in business management and marketing, English, and criminal justice. Including that major, I will also be majoring in political science. After I complete this, I will then continue my education in law school."

She added: "I’d like to mention how my basketball coach has impacted me throughout the years of playing for her. This year has easily been the hardest year for me, and my coach has given me so much knowledge and wisdom both on and off the court. I am beyond grateful to have a person in my life that I can go to whether that be a listening ear, needing advice, or even having a shoulder to cry on.

"She has worked so hard to make basketball a safe space for not only me but my teammates as well. I will carry all of the life lessons she has taught me throughout my four years even after high school."

Again, a salute to Mia for her Midwest Members Credit Union Female Athlete of the Month honor.

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