- By Jason Dougas Lewis
- In Student Athlete of the Week
Danya Grundy starts on the basketball team, runs hurdles in track, and she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps by going to medical school. Her 4.45 GPA should help her achieve that goal. Photo by Jason Lewis
Article originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
Starting varsity basketball: check. Leading the league as a hurdler in track: check. Maintaining a 4.45 grade point average while taking three AP classes at a college prep high school: check!
That is what is on Danya Grundy’s résumé at Notre Dame Academy, an all girls high school in West Los Angeles.
Grundy smiled when she was asked if she has free time to watch television, and she simply said no. She has more important things to do after school, like basketball and track practice until 6 p.m., depending on the season. When she gets home around 7 p.m., she usually does homework and studies until about 10 p.m.
When Grundy has a project due, she has stayed up as late as 2 a.m. to complete her assignment.
Grundy, who is a junior, has it all figured out.
“It’s just time management,” Grundy said. “I do my homework as soon as a get it. I try to organize everything so that I have a schedule for everything that I need to do.”
Grundy started playing basketball when she was in the 5th grade, kind of off of a whim. She tried out for a cheerleading team but did not make it. A friend of hers asked her to join a basketball team with her, and Grundy has been hooked on the sport ever since.
During her freshman season Grundy was a great scoring threat, averaging 22 points per game on the JV squad. She moved up to varsity as a sophomore and she played off the bench. She was able to start the last few games of the season. Hard work over the offseason landed her a spot in the starting rotation as a guard/forward, and her coach has really seen her excel on the defensive side of the court.
“Danya is a hustle player,” head coach Carol Holton said. “She also runs track so she is one of our faster players, and she’s a our defensive specialist. Danya has been our go to girl to stop a good shooter for another team, and she’s come up big for us more than once to win a big game.”
Coach Holton said that Grundy’s speed from running track helps her out on the court a lot because she is fast enough to get back on defense before the opposition gets the ball down court. Holton also said that Grundy is one of the few girls on the team who has no problem diving for loose balls.
Grundy is really enjoying her role on the team as they look to win a division title.
“I like playing defense because it feels good to stop somebody, to shut them down completely,” Grundy said.
But Grundy does have a goal to get her average back up to around 22 points per game, like she did early in her high school career.
When track season comes around, Grundy switches gears and runs the 100-meter hurdles, she is the anchor leg on the 4x100 meter relay, and she competes in the long jump and triple jump. She is excelling at both track and basketball, and she likes both sports for different reasons.
“I like that in track it is all about you, you have to be driven,” Grundy said. “You have to want it to get it. But in basketball I like the contact. I like that you get to fight against somebody else. It’s not just you against the time.”
Grundy does have a goal to play college sports, but long term, she plans to follow in the footsteps of some of her family members.
“I want to become a pediatrician,” Grundy said. “My mom is a doctor, and doctors and dentistry, they’ve been in my family, and I just really like working with kids.”
AP biology and AP pre-calculus are Grundy’s favorite subjects, and she hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps by attending medical school at USC. If not there, she wants to go to either UC Berkeley or Boston College. Her mother, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., has been a major influence on her life.
“She’s just like the perfect role model,” Grundy said. “She takes us (her and her younger brother) to work sometimes, and I see her working, and I see her in between patients. She used to have me help her fill out paperwork. It was really nice.”
With Grundy’s skills in the classroom and in athletics, there is no question that she will be a major success in whichever path she chooses.