For Albemarle girl's basketball captain Samira Hussaini, leadership is just as important as success on the court. The senior is putting up 12 points and 5 rebounds a game for the Patriots this season, but to her, sports aren't just about stats.
"It's impossible to be talking about sports and not want to set an example for other people," she explains. "People look up to you, so you need to have the right character."
The AHS captain tries to set a good example through action, but she's also learned to be a more vocal leader as an upperclassmen.
"She leads by example very well, but there's times when we need her to show that energy and show that passion" says AHS girl's basketball coach Rachel Proudfoot. "She's done a much better job of that throughout the games in doing that."
"I kind of just woke up one day and was like 'oh my gosh I'm a senior, I need to step up and be an example to everyone else on the team,'" Hussaini said. "They've really made it easy for me."
Hussaini says taking a leadership class at Albemarle has helped her become a better captain. She also helped coach a basketball team at Jouett Middle School, and feels that forced her to be a more vocal leader.
"We kind of got to see it from the coaches perspective, like how hard it is to get all the kids together," she says. "In the end, we just had to sit them down and work with them individually."
"You can't coach without talking," says Proudfoot. "With the young girls, she had to quickly realize that her voice was powerful and the way that she said things was very productive. The young people looked up to her and I think she realized she could do that for these girls too."
One thing Hussaini makes clear to her teammates is that it is possible to be a great student despite a busy schedule. She has a 4.3 GPA, and in her spare time, works with a number of leadership-oriented clubs at AHS.
"Last year and this year I tried to really challenge myself with AP classes, because for me if it's not challenging then it's not interesting," Hussaini said.
Before her senior season wraps up, Hussaini wants to teach the Patriots' future captains what she's learned about leadership. She says the number one thing she's learned is to keep a positive attitude.
"It's the most important thing in basketball," she explains. "If you have a bad attitude then it's just going to transfer to everybody else and then it just falls apart. Sticking together, positive attitude, things get done."