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El Reno’s Pauline Black-Harmon Athlete Spotlight Presented by BancFirst Yukon

Pauline Black-Harmon helped take the El Reno Lady Indians to the state tournament nine months ago.

Now, the El Reno senior is campaigning for a massive senior season as the Lady Indians miraculously return all five starters from a team that reached the state semifinals last season.

“Last one, best one,” Black-Harmon said. “As an individual, off-season made me realize so much and taught me so much. Off-season for me went good, becoming me comfortable as a leader and taking that big role without doubting myself. As a team, off-season was good, humbling us and teaching us what we thought we already knew. We just have to stay consistent and stay as one and not five individuals.”

Black-Harmon’s basketball journey began in the third grade. The youngest of four, she inherited the sport from her siblings and father.

“Growing up, we all were involved around each other. Our cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents were always supportive with all of us,” Black-Harmon said. “For holidays, our house is always the house everyone comes to eat, celebrate or just to chill so I loved that. My siblings are very supportive.”

However, Black-Harmon’s circumstances didn’t always shield her.

“I had family help me and just watch out for me, but I still wanted to make my own mistakes, decisions, and fail on my own, so it’s 50-50,” Black-Harmon said.

Her junior year wasn’t easy, by any means.

“Sophomore year was a high for me because I got to play with four other seniors, one who was my sister, so I was beyond blessed to be able to play my first two years with my sister,” Black-Harmon said. “Junior year, I was the only returning starter so just that alone was way different, but I adapted to it very well. It was just a lot of pressure because it was all different players, but something good was those starters were the people I grew up playing basketball with so it wasn’t all bad.”

She learned how to “become a leader and help the younger players step up.” Now, Black-Harmon is an indispensable leader for the Lady Indians.

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