A graduate of Hermitage High School, Megan Silva, 23, achieved legendary status during her tenure as point guard for Randolph-Macon College's women's basketball team, ultimately becoming the most decorated women's player in Old Dominion Athletic Conference history.
Recently named one of D3hoops.com's top five female basketball players of the decade, Silva still holds the records for both men and women for points, assists and steals in the conference. As an event production assistant at Sports Backers, she'll serve as the director of the organization's inaugural 3-on-3 basketball tournament this summer.
Belle: What are your first memories of basketball?
Silva: We had a basketball hoop in our backyard, and I definitely remember going out and shooting with my dad when I was maybe 3 years old; he would lower the rim for me. I started playing organized sports when I was 8, and I played with the boys in the Glen Allen youth league. A lot of the guys were hesitant, and then I'd get out there and they were like, "Oh, OK, she's all right."
Were you a tomboy?
Oh yeah. I was definitely a tomboy growing up. But it was cool; that was how I met most of my friends. Looking back, most of my best friends are my teammates. My best friend from high school we've been best friends since the third grade when we played on the same softball team.
That you won the Jostens Trophy, which recognizes excellence in Division III basketball, academics and community service, shows that your collegiate life wasn't all about basketball. How did you maintain balance?
Well, to be able to play, you had to have good grades. And I was a perfectionist, so I wanted good grades and I wanted to play well. I think there's enough time for it all. It's just using your time wisely.
What lessons or skills transfer from the basketball court to real life?
I think the team aspect of basketball is huge it's such a team-oriented game, and you can't have one dominant player and be a dominant team. Working at Sports Backers and seeing the teamwork that's involved in making these events happen that whole teamwork thing has totally transferred over. Another big one would be time management the time involved in playing basketball and going to school and having a social life being able to balance that is a big life lesson.
What advice would you give to an aspiring young athlete?
Just keep the game fun and play for the love of the game. Once the sport becomes more of a chore, I think you lose interest in becoming good at it, and that's when you stop working as hard. You're not going to achieve the things you want to achieve without hard work, and I think keeping the game fun is going to make you want to work hard.
Sports Backers is planning a new 3-on-3 recreational basketball tournament this summer with youth and adult divisions. Call 285-9495 for more details, or visit www.sportsbackers.org for updated information.