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Home court advantage. (personal passions).

Earn good grades. Score high on the SATs. Get into an Ivy League college. There is so much pressure on high-school seniors that going to school is like having a full-time job. Shoshana Arbor is no stranger to the art of the high-school juggle. As a senior at Buffalo High School in Buffalo, Texas, she takes advanced classes, holds office in various clubs (including the Student Council and Spanish club), is an honor student, and plays basketball.

The thought of going pro and sporting a Houston Comets jersey is tempting and intimidating. "I'm a munchkin compared to those 6'5" athletes," jokes the 5'6" Arbor. "But if someone offers me the opportunity [to be in the WNBA] I'm gonna take it." However, pro-ball stardom and endorsements aren't her top priority. Her main concern? To get into a good college and study sports medicine. So, why cram b-ball drills and defensive slides into an already hectic schedule that requires serious study time for pre-calculus and anatomy? Quite simply, Arbor loves the game and sees basketball as her ticket to a full scholarship and a good education.

Ask anyone from East Texas about this Lady Bison and they probably have her stats and game schedule committed to memory. The MVP is a local star; however, she's careful not to get a big head--even after being nominated to the McDonald's Ali-American team. "People see me as a great basketball player, but I don't see myself as others do," says the modest athlete who averages 18 points per game.

Arbor, 18, started shooting hoops for the Little Dribblers when she was five, but didn't take the game seriously until junior high school. "It was so much fun playing for real ... it was like moving up to the big [leagues]," says the student ranked second in a class of 60. The oldest of two, it took lots of "practice to get coordinated" and plenty of trips to summer camp to sharpen her game. Arbor believes that anyone willing to work hard and hustle can be successful at this sport.

These days No. 34 has more than just fans and her supportive family. But she doesn't show off when scouts are in the house. "I just hope they see something they like. I don't change my game to impress anybody," she says. While some of her teammates are thinking about playing miles away from their parents' protective eyes, this Texas girl plans to stay close to home after high school so that her family can sit courtside at all of her games. Says the bailer, "They've been watching my games for a while and it would be weird not having them in the stands."

SHOW 'EM YOU GOT GAME,

Trying out for junior varsity but worried about your skills? Lady Bison coach John Shelton suggests ways to achieve your hoop dreams.

* Work on the basics. Forget three-pointers and dunking. Shelton encourages beginners to "learn the fundamentals" like dribbling and passing. Players constantly polish these skills during practice--even in the pros.

* "D" up. If scoring isn't your strong point, tighten up your fancy footwork to play defense. Shelton recommends running sprints, jumping rope, and boxing.

* Attend summer camp. At the Kenny Smith North Carolina Basketball Camp ($450) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the former Houston Rockets star teaches ballhandling, rebounding, passing, and court pacing. Call 201-818-7312 or visit www.carolinabasketball.com for details, In California, Philip Mathews Basketball Camp (www.weplay hardcamps.com) coaches beginners during day ($225) or overnight ($450) sessions. Call 415-422-6950 for details. For camps in your area, visit www.ussportscamps.com or call 800-645-3226.
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Title Annotation:Shoshana Arbor
Author:Young, Taiia Smart
Publication:Black Enterprise
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:600
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