THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — The Brookwood girls basketball team is coming off their first state championship in school history. The goal this season is to repeat, and for senior Ann Murray Jackson, after missing last year with an injury, that's what she wants more than anything.
"We had a basketball camp, and I kept getting hit over and over," recalled Jackson of when she first started getting pain in her back. "It was a stress fracture, and it didn't happen at one particular time, just over a while."
For Jackson, a back injury is what had her watching the Lady Warriors win a state title from the sidelines last season.
"Just seeing last year and being part of the team, but not being able to play makes me want to work even harder," she said.
It's motivated her and made her a better player.
"Most of the time, when you have someone sit out that long, the tendency is you'll be a little roster and not quite what they were," said Brookwood head girls basketball coach Todd Webb. "She came back more aggressive and better than she was before."
"Watching it really gave me new insight on how to play and how to be aggressive and how to rebound," added Jackson. "It just taught me things I wouldn't have seen before."
That drive carries over in the classroom, where Jackson has a 4.0 GPA.
"I've played three sports almost every year," she said. "I just put a lot of pressure myself as a player and a scholar. I just always make sure I get everything done."
The pressure to be great, and the grit to go with it.
"There's not many kids that will let someone stick an eight-inch needle in their back so they can play basketball," said Webb. "That shows how much her teammates mean to her, and how much basketball means to her in general."
She also wants to be standing on the court, for a repeat title this season, and that's what she's working towards.
Murray said she plans to play sports in college just for fun. She wants to attend Auburn, where she plans to major in anthropology.