AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A little over two years ago, point guard Annilia Dawn, was helping lead the Amarillo High Lady Sandies to their third-ever state title in girls’ basketball.
“She was the type of kid who could just lead you and she just became one of the best leaders we ever had,” said Jeff Williams, Amarillo High’s girls’ basketball coach. “She came to work out every day, doing her part to be her very best, so her impact on our state championship team was incredible.”
Dawn has seen success on the court, but off the hardwood, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
“I grew up with nothing, I came from nothing,” said Dawn. “Everything I have today I worked for. God has blessed me tremendously, I’m thankful for it, but I’m not supposed to be here statistically. I’m supposed to be in or out of jail, I’m supposed to be pregnant, I’m not supposed to have a degree. I’m working on my second one and I know I won’t stop there either.”
After being a star player for the state champs, Dawn didn’t see very much attention from colleges for her talents and signed with Midland College.
“I wasn’t surprised at all because I’ve been underestimated my whole career, I took it as a challenge.”
After two seasons with two different junior colleges, Dawn finally found a new home, with
NCAA Division I Butler University.
Dawn said, “The difference between Butler and everyone else was they were instantly involved, instantly like you got this. They gave me the confidence I needed. I think they have more confidence than I did at the time, they never doubted me, instantly they were like we want you.”
Dawn says upon graduating with a degree in sociology, she plans to come back to her hometown…
“Start my own business, and give back little girls who are in the position I was once in to give them hope, to give them encouragement to tell them like this isn’t it. I pray and hope that my career and my academics allow me to do that.”