Whether it’s playing basketball or sharing her Christian faith, Dora senior Tearney O’Connor goes all out.
O’Connor is one of the leaders on a Lady Coyotes team that is ranked sixth in Class 1A and can earn a share of the District 3-1A regular-season title by beating Floyd tonight. Dora’s 19 wins mark its best season since 1995.
Last summer, O’Connor went on a mission trip to China and Vietnam with a group that included her coach, Caleb King.
“She is a compassionate person who likes to help people,” King said. “We went to different parts of Asia and for me just seeing how she worked with these people and seeing what kind of situation they were in and see how much she cares showed me what a special person she is.”
O’Connor attends Victory Life Church and King attends Emmanuel Baptist Church. A friend of King’s set up the two-week mission trip.
O’Connor said the trip was amazing.
“It was great being able to share the love of God with all of them,” O’Connor said. “The people we met were Buddhist. They’re open-minded to everything and finding out what life is about. It was good for them to hear about God because they all took it in.”
Tearney said the group visited the elderly in their homes and took orphans to the zoo.
“She wants to serve her faith,” King said. ”For a young kid her age, that is tough. I never did that and it makes her a special person.”
Sophomore teammate Kelli Merrick said O’Connor is a role model on and off the court.
“Sometimes we go to the gym together and play,” Merrick said. “Our parents were good friends for a long time, so I have known Tearney since we were little.”
King said O’Connor is good at reading the defense and anticipates what opponents are going to do.
“She is a good leader,” King said. “She is not afraid to work with her teammates to help them become better on the court.”
O’Connor also takes pressure off Kelli and Kendra Merrick inside because she can shoot the ball well. She averages 10 points a game.
“She is great advantage for me to coach,” King said “Once she gets out there, she going to create plays and that is what you need in a player.”
What do you do for fun? Play basketball.
What is your favorite food? I love pizza and ice cream. Georgia Mud Fudge from Dairy Queen.
Do you play video games? Nope, never owned anything like that.
Favorite class: Physical education.
Favorite music? Christian; occasionally rap and hip hop.
Plans after high school? I’m either going to Eastern or to a college in Alamosa, Colo., and play basketball. I want to major in sports Science and become an athletic trainer. I want to become a coach. Our last coach, she was an athletic trainer. She taught me how to do some of the stuff, such as wrapping ankles. I think it is cool.