(Photo Credit: Mick Lite)
At four years old, barely big enough to shoot a basketball, Francis Howell senior Danielle Berry fell in love with the sport.
“I started playing with Upward. I played with them for about a year, but I got kicked out because I didn’t want to guard the same girl that had my wristband,” Berry said. “I was a ball hog. Sometimes I even stole from my own teammates.”
Her passion and skill grew after her small amount of time with Upward when she moved on to play with an all boys team at the YMCA. In fourth grade, she started playing with Ft. Zumwalt West’s feeder team, joining girls on the court for the first time since she was four. After trying multiple teams, Berry and her family decided to be part of a club organization, the Missouri Rockets.
“When I was in sixth grade my dad and I found the Rockets, which is where Carly Harper was playing, too,” Berry said. “We started traveling and playing challenging games and I realized I loved basketball even more.”
Berry’s family has played a large role in her career, whether it be mentally challenging her, helping her make decisions, or cheering from the stands.
“When I was younger, my dad and my brother would make me make 100 shots in the driveway after school,” Berry said. “If it was snowing outside, I would have to do dribbling routines in the basement and my brother would walk me through them.”
The dedication that Berry has shown to the game of basketball has given back to her as an athlete. Feb. 22, against Westminster, she broke the all-time scoring record at Howell that stood for over 30 years. A few days later, Feb. 26, at rival Howell Central, she broke the three-point record as well. Berry will further her basketball career at Eastern Illinois University in the fall.
(Both photos were taken at Howell Central, Feb. 26, the same night Berry (20) broke the three-point record.)