Norman's Haley Hurst – Academic Athlete of the Month sponsored by Republic Bank & Trust


Written by John Tranchina

Haley Hurst had always looked up to the senior basketball team leaders when she was an underclassmen, imagining the days when she would take on that role, and now that she’s a senior, the Norman post player has made that a reality.

“I love it,” she said of being a team leader. “I just think it’s a great way of getting to know the girls and also helping us all build together, and not, ‘I am the leader of this team, I’m going to rule this team,’ but just getting everybody to work together.”

So far in 2017-18, Norman has enjoyed a strong start, beginning 6-1 before losses to Putnam City West and Bixby in the Putnam City Invitational Tournament. But following a 46-26 win over Mustang on Jan. 9, Hurst believes things are back on track for the Tigers.

“We had a little bit of a rough patch, but we’re doing really well now, picking back up,” she said. “We’ve got some tough games coming up and I’m excited to see how we compete and work together. I’m really excited for playoffs and getting to that point in the season.”

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Besides basketball, Hurst is also involved in a bunch of other activities, such as choir, Christians on Campus, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honors Society. Yes, she likes to stay busy.

The fact that she is so accomplished academically, maintaining all As, is a testament to her commitment to her studies.

“I definitely think it’s the most important thing,” she said of her schoolwork. “Our goal in school is, we’re trying to get an education, so that’s something I focus on more than basketball, and I focus on basketball a ton.”

Making sure all that homework gets done is a challenge, but she manages to turn that into another example of her leadership in basketball.

“I’m also taking college classes, so I think it’s even more (difficult),” Hurst said. “You have to make sure you’re talking to your teachers and getting stuff before and sometimes we’re all sitting on the buses on our laptops doing our homework on the way to games. We also support each other a lot with that, we keep each other accountable really well, so I think that helps, too.”

“Haley is one of this school’s finest leaders, both in the classroom and on the court,” added Norman coach Michael Neal. “She’s an all-A student involved in choir as well as various other functions.”