Versatility is big part of Bea’s game(s)
Just two weeks removed from the spring high school sports season and Beyonce Bea is back on the court. With a trip to the 2A state tennis tournament not far in the rear-view, it’s now time for Washougal’s summer basketball season, which will be followed by the summer AAU circuit, official college visits and then volleyball in the fall.
One season ends, and another begins. It’s a never-ending cycle.
Such is life for Bea, The Columbian’s Girls Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year.
The Washougal junior received all-league honorable mention for volleyball in the fall, was named to the All-Region girls basketball team in the winter and made it to the fourth place state tennis semifinals in doubles this spring.
While many athletes of Bea’s caliber specialize, the Panther standout did the opposite.
“Each sport uses different skill-sets that correlate through all three,” the junior said. “It’s nice to have a variety, not just sticking with one the whole time.”
It helps, too, when you’re good at pretty much any sport you pick up.
Growing up, she tried everything from track and field, soccer and softball but nothing compared to her love for basketball.
It was clear from a young age that she would be a standout. Now she’s on her way to being a Divison I recruit.
In late grade school and in middle school she was taller than most of her teammates. Naturally, her coaches put her in the post. But with the nudging of her dad, and the support of coaches throughout middle and high school, Bea focused on guard skills like 3-point shooting and ball handling.
She knew that if she wanted to play in college one day, she needed to be versatile.
This past season at Washougal, she was the central part of the offense. One play, as usually the tallest player on the floor, she would act accordingly, get the ball with her back to the basket and score in the post. The next possession, she could run the point.
But despite her love for hoops, Bea still wanted to experience as much as she could in her four years at Washougal.
That’s why she stayed competing in three sports — volleyball, basketball and tennis.
Plus, she enjoys a change from basketball every once in awhile.
“I don’t want to just get burned out of basketball, so having variety helps keep interest,” she said.
Going into her freshman year, she’d never played tennis before — not even recreationally.
Bea’s parents knew Washougal tennis coach Angie Watts, who Bea says encouraged her to give tennis a try her freshman year. When she agreed, she was picking it up from scratch.
“I wanted to try something new and it ended up being a good fit,” Bea said. “You can kind of pick it up pretty fast once you learn the basics.”
Fast forward to her junior season, Bea and doubles partner Rebecca Boylan advanced to the 2A state tennis tournament.
Bea had just been to a state tournament. The Panthers were one of the 16 teams in Yakima for the 2A state basketball tournament just three months prior.
Bea made sure and soaked it all in.
“It was a great experience to get there and see what the whole thing,” she said.
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