The real MVP

Ila Prabhuram

More stories from Ila Prabhuram


Less than one minute remains. Varsity basketball player Emma Tipper shoots a layup that ties the game and qualifies her team for the final round. Tipper then grabs the ball and scores the winning point, earning her the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award for the game. 

“The moment felt unreal and was incredibly special. I loved every minute of it,” Emma Tipper, junior, said. 

Tipper is a dedicated basketball player on both the Etowah Lady Eagles and off-season team the Georgia Pistols. She received the Best Defensive Player award during the end-of-year banquet last year and won the MVP award for her recent school games. With her frequent basketball practices and tournaments, Tipper has been learning how to balance both her scholastic and athletic activities throughout high school.  

“Balancing everything often proves to be a challenge. To help with this, I created a defined schedule to stay on top of my work while staying committed to basketball. Throughout the school day, I write down all my assignments for the week in a planner, which includes my sports activities, and plan everything around it,” Tipper said. 

On top of her athletic activities, Tipper is taking multiple Advanced Placement (AP) courses and often finds herself stressed because of her various responsibilities. Mental health has been a priority for Tipper as she navigates throughout high school with her hectic schedule, and she advises others to focus on their personal wellness. 

“Creating a schedule has been extremely helpful with my stress. It’s important to work on mental health because it is easy to overlook it sometimes when you have a lot on your plate (…) When I feel myself getting stressed, I step back and take a breather during moments in the day,” Tipper said. 

For those who struggle to maintain athletics and academics, Tipper emphasizes the importance of time management and always having someone to talk to for advice. Balancing school and sports can be hard, but with the right mindset, anyone can succeed.