February 05, 2024 -- Columbus International High School sophomore Leila Carter is a rising star in the Buckeye State, dominating the basketball court. According to her coach, Carter is a top scorer in Ohio, averaging 32.1 points per game and 7.7 steals. Though Carter is making waves in her sport, she is making significant impacts beyond the game.
Carter's ability and eagerness to keep improving in her sport has garnered statewide attention. While she excels in basketball, Carter also shines academically and fosters strong bonds with coaches and teammates, making her an inspiration for her peers.
"They [Carter and teammates] continue to show up daily, and their goal is to improve," said LeAnthony Jones, head coach for girls basketball. "Matching the intensity is tough sometimes, but they [Carter and teammates] are eager to learn and work hard. Most importantly, they respect each other."
For Carter, basketball is more than a mere recreational activity; it is a profound passion that fuels her drive for success. Jones is impressed by Carter's dedication and leadership and envisions a bright future for her and the team.
"I think the future is very bright for Leila and her teammates," Jones said. "They are a good group of young ladies and very respectful. They have made it one of the most enjoyable jobs that I have had."
In addition to her interest in sports, Carter loves learning and helping others. Despite only being a sophomore in high school, Carter is inspired by the teachers and coaches she interacts with at Columbus International High School and hopes to explore either early childhood education or physical therapy as a career path.
This passion for learning and relationships connects seamlessly to her contemplation of a collegiate journey. Carter aspires to stay close to home, setting her sights on The Ohio State University and nearby institutions that would allow her to continue fostering the lasting bonds she has formed thus far.
"We are like sisters; we all joke around, and we are all close like a family," Carter said. "Basketball has made a big change in my life. It is there during my good and bad days, and when I am frustrated or upset, it will always be there for me."
Carter and her teammates emphasize academic and community commitment through tutoring at Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy and attending classes at the Kitchen of Life, where they enhance skills through public speaking, cooking, and collaboration.
As the spotlight shines on Carter's achievements at Columbus International, it is evident that her journey is more than just about scoring points. As she continues to excel in her academic and athletic pursuits, it is clear that Carter is leaving a lasting mark on her teammates, her school, and her community.