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Miranda Pomroy, a senior point guard on the School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.) girls' basketball team this winter, has been named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month.
Pomroy was nominated for the award by athletic director Kip Smith and head basketball coach Kristopher Boswell.
"She's so deserving of it. Last year, I personally didn't have much experience as a varsity coach. That was my first year doing it," Boswell said. "There were certain players that I leaned on last year and she was one of them. We had some rough times last year, and we've had some rough times this year. But as the season's gone on, I've seen growth in the whole team. … Miranda plays a big role in that."
When Boswell took over the head coaching job in the fall of 2017, he immediately put the ball in Pomroy's hands and made her the Penguins' point guard. Boswell asked Pomroy, a deft mid-range shooter, to run the offense and create her own shot for much of the past two years, but he moved her off the ball some this year in part to get her more open shots.
But what impressed Boswell so much throughout his two years coaching her was the leadership qualities Pomroy possessed. The coach said his best player led with energy, enthusiasm and spirit and had the ear of all of her teammates.
"Even if we're not winning, I like everyone to be happy, be in the game, because there's no point in playing a sport if you're just doing it to try to win or you're not having fun while you're doing it," Pomroy said. "That's what I've always learned playing basketball. The reason that I'm playing is so I can enjoy myself and have fun, and it's not fun if we're dwelling on the fact that we aren't winning or someone's upset."
The School Without Walls, located on the George Washington University campus, is a magnet school with a small enrollment; Pomroy's graduating class is around 130 students. The school allows high school students to get a jump-start on college, with options ranging from taking courses at George Washington as time allows or even pursuing an associate degree during one's final two years at Walls.
However, student-athletes don't have any on-campus athletic facilities, so they have to practice and play home games away from Walls. Pomroy's basketball team practiced at Francis Stevens Middle School and played home games at Hardy Middle School in D.C.
"Being a student-athlete at the School Without Walls has taught me a lot about time management and responsibility," Pomroy said. "It takes a lot to want to play a sport and keep your grades up and all of that, especially due to the fact that we don't have a gym. We don't have courts that we can just practice at after school. We have to go out of our way."
Pomroy also plays lacrosse, which she considers her top sport. She's still perusing her options for college, and she's considering playing lacrosse in college either as a walk-on or for a club team.
"I have a leadership role on my lacrosse team, too. I think that that's helped," Pomroy said. "Definitely playing multiple sports has helped my confidence. I think that's the biggest thing that's contributed to my overall playing ability, is just being confident with the ball, being sure of myself. I think that's like 50 percent of it, honestly, is just thinking you can do it."