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There are two distinct, separate sides to India Yocum.
On the basketball court, she is a self-described “no-nonsense” player who wants to win.
But once she has dressed out of her WC uniform and back into her everyday wardrobe, pegging her as a basketball player would be difficult for even the most astute observer.
“Off the court, I’m just really girly,” Yocum said. “I dress real preppy, I guess you could say. I’m also real goofy. I just like making people laugh. But when I get on the court, I know it’s time to get serious.”
Yocum didn’t always have dual personas.
It wasn’t until her eighth-grade season that she began to realize how much she enjoyed the rush of competing, the thrill of winning.
And once she did, there was no confusing Yocum as anything but a basketball player once she stepped onto the hardwood.
“I’m definitely competitive,” Yocum said. “There’s just nothing like winning. Even when I’m just sitting on the bench, I’m always the main one screaming. You can probably hear me from outside the gym. I want to win every game.”
Born and raised in WC, Yocum always liked the laid-back nature of her home community.
And she loves the fact that she gets to attend a small school.
“I don’t really like big schools,” Yocum said. “It’s hard to get around, but when you’re going to a small school, it’s kind of easy because you know everybody and know where everything’s at.”
Another benefit of growing up in a small community is that each sport team has a close-knit bond, something Yocum thinks is especially true of her squad.
This was never more apparent for Yocum when her team went to the All-A State Tournament in 2011.
“We just had so much fun while we were there,” Yocum said. “We did a lot of crazy stuff. We even put salt in [Head Coach Bernard Smalley]’s drink, and he didn’t even notice. We just really bonded as a team. You start to see your teammates as kind of like your sisters.”
It’s this type of team mentality that Smalley believes drew Yocum to the sport.
“India Yocum’s one of those types of players that you can just tell enjoys being part of this team,” Smalley said. “She really embraces that team concept.”
While Yocum may have started basketball for that aspect, she stuck around because of the benefits it provided off the court.
“I love winning, but that’s not all basketball is about,” Yocum said. “It’s about being a better person. Playing basketball helps you become a better person because, like Coach Smalley tells us, your attitude reflects on the court.”
With the end of basketball season quickly approaching and graduation just around the corner, Yocum plans on attending Western Kentucky University to major in physical therapy.
However, her departure from WC will come with some bittersweet emotions, according to Yocum.
“I’m gonna miss the atmosphere around [WCHS], definitely,” Yocum said. “When the bell rings, we all stand around each other’s lockers and cut up, That’s something I’ll definitely miss.”
Perhaps what she’ll miss most of all, though, are the “fun times” she had with her extended family.
“Basically, I’ll just miss being with the team because they’re like my family,” Yocum said. “I’ve been with them for five years, and I’m going to really miss them. The fun we’ve had together, Coach Smalley cutting up with us at practice, those will always be great memories for me.”