For Licking Heights Girls Basketball coach Sonya Glover, basketball is more than just a sport. It is an outlet for grief, a powerful force for building community, and a battlefield in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. But fighting for a cure isn’t something Glover will do on his own. She has both the team and the community on her side.
On February 4th at 1:30pm, the Lady Hornets will host their annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Charity Game at Licking Heights High School’s Main Gym. The Hornets will face the Zanesville Blue Devils.
Recognizing Alzheimer’s is Glover’s personal mission. In 2017, after his mother was diagnosed with an illness, Glover quit his job and moved his mother from Cleveland to his home in Reynoldsburg so he could care for her full-time.
“My passion comes from a daughter’s love for her mother,” Glover said.
Basketball became an outlet for Glover while she was in her mother’s care.
“Licking Heights saved me by allowing me to coach middle school,” Glover said. “I was thinking of volunteering to help the school, and the school actually helped me.”
Glover said then-principal Tiffan Warren and assistant principal Corey Stroud were very supportive of the idea of a charity game to help research Alzheimer’s disease.
“Parents and players rallied around me, and I felt the love, not just from my mom, but from the Licking Heights community,” she says.
In June 2020, Glover lost his mother. Soon after, another opportunity came for her to process her grief and carry on her mother’s legacy.
“At times like this, you’re in your worst moment, but right around the corner is your best moment,” Glover said. I received a call about taking over a job.I was thinking that Ms. Warren was the first person to help make this happen.Now this opportunity came as I was dealing with grief. was available..”
Thanks to community support, awareness games now include 50/50 raffles, gift basket auctions, bake sales, free throw contests, and annual donations from families and organizations. Last fall, Glover’s team joined her at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in downtown Columbus.
In addition to developing players as athletes, Glover hopes that they will be able to recognize the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and support their own families in the future.
“I don’t just develop athletes, I invest in young women who will become a complex part of society and one day become phenomenal women,” she said.
Above all, Glover wants players to understand how much impact they can make with their athleticism.
“My vision is that we can be bigger than basketball. “We’re not just athletes. We’re part of a connected society. We have to come together and fight for something bigger than ourselves.” Lady Hornets basketball is at stake.”
To date, the team has raised over $5,000 for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. To donate to the Lady Hornets team’s participation in the 2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit your district’s website.
Information submitted by local schools in Licking Heights.