Athlete of the Week: New role a nice fit for Farmer

North Myrtle Beach senior India Farmer was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Class 3A state champion Lady Chiefs volleyball team.

Their run to the top serves as a source of inspiration for the basketball squad, which hopes to finish the season in the same successful manner.

“It was awesome getting to see them win it and the school spirit of it all,” Farmer said. “I was at all the home games cheering them on, and I was hoping they would win it all. Now I hope it carries over to basketball.”

But while many of Farmer’s teammates were making the transition from volleyball to basketball, Farmer was making a similarly tricky switch. After playing the post position throughout her career, she was asked to take over as the team’s point guard.

“India’s role on our team has changed from playing in the post to being a hybrid point guard,” said NMB coach Jude Hunt. “This is a role that she was hesitant about but has taken in stride because she knows it is what her teams needs, and it will help demonstrate her versatility to recruiters.”

The move hasn’t been easy for Farmer, but you wouldn’t know it from the results. Not only are the Lady Chiefs off to an impressive 4-0 start, but Farmer’s stats are up across the board at 15.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.5 steals, 4.3 assists and 3.3 blocks per game.

“It’s been difficult at times and a little frustrating, but it’s a learning process,” Farmer said of her increased responsibilities in ball-handling, pressure defense and running the offense. “I like it, but it’s definitely something I’m not used to.

“I’ve had to do a lot of studying film on my own to see things I’m missing on the court. I’m doing everything I can to try to get better and help my team get better. Either way, no matter what position I play, I just want to help the team whatever way I can, no matter where he sticks me.”

This is the second straight season fate has thrown Farmer a curve ball. Last year she was still waiting to get in her first game after being diagnosed with anemia, a condition caused by a lack or iron in the blood. She battled through it to have a strong junior year, and plans to do the same in her new role.

“My iron level has been looking good,” she said. “I take medicine during the week and my energy level is up. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in and it’s a good thing because, running the point, I’ve got to get up and down the floor and battle on defense, get under the basket when I can. It’s a lot of hard work.”

But Farmer had a front-row seat to what a lot of hard work can lead to by watching the Lady Chiefs volleyball team. Now Farmer hopes to share in another state championship celebration on the hardwood.

“I’m not shooting for anything less than that and I know my team wants it too,” she said of a state basketball title. “We’re going to take one game at a time but that’s our goal. We walk out on the court not expecting to lose any games. It’s going to be a challenge but we’ve got the attitude we don’t want to lose at all.”

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