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Raleigh Tri-Sport Star Gives Extra Effort

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As a competitor, Jennifer is at home on the court.
RALEIGH — This week's Extra Effort winner is Athens Drive High School senior Jennifer Neal. Jennifer stars in three sports for Athens Drive. She's the captain of the basketball team, as well as a hustler, a leader, and a team player who never gives up.

Coach Teri Whyte characterizes Jennifer as someone with a lot of desire. Whyte says Jennifer is tenacious, going after everything she wants to accomplish in both sports and academics.

Jennifer needed all the desire and tenacity she could muscle to overcome serious injury to her left knee. That injury left her out of most of last basketball season.

"It was hard to sit on the bench and watch everyone else win," Jennifer admits. "I felt like I wasn't a part of it. It was really hard to overcome physical therapy with the pain, but in August I came back, and it was fun again."

School and life are fun for Jennifer, from sports to community service to academics, where she carries a 3.8 grade point average. Jennifer says athletics actually helps her school work, since she needs to maintain a good g.p.a. in order to play.

Teacher Ron Williams says Jennifer is an example for other students.

"She is a wonderful, disciplined person who has a lot of the old virtues and old values of hard work."

Jennifer believes she's always been a winner and has wanted to win. Competition just enhances that desire.

Jennifer Neal of Athens Drive High School is this week's winner of the Extra Effort Award.