McClain to play basketball at Belmont Abbey

McClain to play basketball at Belmont Abbey
Posted on 06/13/2017

 Hickory’s McClain to play basketball

at Belmont Abbey College

A’mya McClain’s dad put a basketball in her hands when she was in the second grade. They consistently practiced dribbling and shooting hoops at Highland Recreation. That’s when it all began.

And now, years later, as a recent graduate of Hickory High with four years of playing varsity basketball behind her, McClain will play for Belmont Abbey College.

Attending college on athletic and academic scholarships, McClain will start her new journey this fall, coached by Audrey Timmerman.

She will bring solid experience to the college team—with her recent recognition as Hickory High’s Defensive Player of the Year. Previous athletic achievements include recognition as a scholar athlete every year, 2013-2014 NWC Conference Champions, 2013-2014 NC State Runner-Up, 2015 3A State Champions starting point guard, 2014-2015 Most Improved Player, 2015-2016 Dicks Sporting Good Classic MVP, 2015-2016 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, 2015-2016 NWC All Conference Player, 2016-2017 All-Tournament Team, 2016-2017 All-Conference Team, 2016-2017 All-District Team. 


In addition, McLain and her HHS teammates each received a “Key to the City” during a meeting at the Hickory City Hall when the HHS basketball team won the state championship in 2015.


“I’ve had a great experience at Hickory High,” said McClain. “Coach Barbara Helms taught me to ‘never give up’ no matter how tired I was because she reminded me there will always be another player working to be better than me. I learned to be a team player -- a leader both on and off the court, thanks to Coach Helms,” said McClain.


According to Coach Helms, A'mya is an outstanding young lady who projects great character and leadership for the Lady Tornado basketball program.  “A’mya’s teammates and I are proud of her accomplishments and we know she will be very successful at the next level.”

Outside of HHS, McClain also played basketball with an AAU team—honing her skills for that college scholarship.


“I would like to credit my father, Donald McClain, Jr, my uncle, Derek McClain, and my coaches, Barbara Helms, Ike Williams, TJ Tipps, Tyrelle Anderson and Chris Sigmon—for all of their support and training,” said McClain.


Born and raised in Hickory, McClain attended schools in the Catawba County district before transferring to Hickory High for the basketball program. “It’s been a great experience at Hickory High—where I’ve been involved with the Student Council, selected as the Maid of Honor for the 2016-2017 HHS Homecoming Court, and I grew in my academics. I especially love Math,” said McClain.


With plans to study elementary education at Belmont Abbey, McClain is thankful to her teachers and friends for their support through the years. “I also want to thank Coaches Alicia Abernathy and Rebecca Tuttle for the big impact they made on my life. I could always go to either of them if I needed some guidance,” she said.


My mother, Lashanda Sharpe, and my father, greatly influenced my journey in sports and academics, said McClain. “When I wasn’t playing for HHS, they kept me in AAU travel basketball and they made sure I stayed on top of my academics. My parents would always tell me, ‘You’re a student-athlete, student comes before anything.’


“I would also like to mention my grandparents, Donald McClain, Sr., and Renae McClain for spiritual guidance. They made sure that I kept God first because without Him nothing would be possible,” said McClain.


“First and foremost, I give all the glory to God for this wonderful opportunity to attend Belmont Abbey.  I would also like to thank Yazmen Hannah, my former HHS teammate who has been here for me through it all. There were times when I wanted to stop playing—but I kept going thanks to her guidance.


“I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life,” said McClain. “I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to continue my basketball career at Belmont Abbey College. Go Crusaders!”


Congratulations to A’mya McClain!

Well done!


Post/photo by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications. For more photos, visit the HPS Facebook page.



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