Western Courier

Leapley chooses nursing over basketball

Michaela Leapley leaves Illinois College to pursue nursing at Western.

Michaela Leapley leaves Illinois College to pursue nursing at Western.

File Photo

File Photo

Michaela Leapley leaves Illinois College to pursue nursing at Western.

Emily Stieren, Assistant News Editor

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more studying pre-nursing, just recently transferred to Western Illinois University from Illinois College (IC) where she was on the women’s basketball team as a shooting guard.

 “I left IC to come here to pursue nursing,” Leapley said. “The nursing program at Illinois College is not as good as it is here, and I wanted to graduate on time in 2020 like I was supposed to.”

 Not only did she leave IC, but she left her basketball career that began in third grade behind as well.

 “Leaving IC was a very tough decision because of basketball and because of the connections I made there, but I learned that going to college was what I was there for,” Leapley said. “I was there for my career, and sometimes you have to do things for yourself and your career. Although I miss it, I love it here also.”

 Leapley said that balancing school and a college sport was time-consuming and tiring. It was difficult for her to concentrate on important things such as her education.

 “When we would have away games, we would travel overnight, and it would lead to us missing classes, so we had to keep up on our school work as well as play games,” Leapley said. “Sometimes, I would be really tired at night and just want to go to bed or I would have a 6 a.m. practice and want to go bed, but I knew that school came first and that I had to succeed in my studies.”

 Leapley mentioned her coach at IC did not play her as much as she would have liked, but that did not stop her from thriving and trying her best at practices.

 “It challenged me physically and mentally because it took a lot of time management with having to go to practice,” Leapley said. “It was not just showing up to practice. You had to be there mentally, or there would be consequences.”

 Despite the lack of time and energy the sport brought, Leapley said she misses IC basketball and her former teammates that became her close friends.

 “I miss basketball because I miss being active every day, and I miss being with some of the people who showed me how much they loved the game,” Leapley said. “I liked playing at IC because I felt like I was a part of the community, I met amazing people and I was actually doing what I loved. I think it is better now though that I can focus strictly on school, rather than being dedicated to something else like basketball.”

 Leapley said she remains committed to being active and staying in shape. She also disclosed that she has no plans on completely giving up and quitting the sport she loves.

 “When intermural basketball comes along, I plan to attend and participate in the games,” Leapley said. “For right now, I try to get to the recreation center as much as I can within the week to get some cardio in and lift every once in a while.”

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Leapley chooses nursing over basketball