Growing her connection to her faith has become a priority for Ardmore High School junior Alivea Pettigrew with age.
“I’ve known about God for basically my whole life, but I haven’t really tried to get to know him or have a relationship with Him,” Pettigrew said. “But, I realized that I couldn’t do it without God’s help. I decided to pick up my bible, read it and pray about my struggles to see if it would actually help, and to my surprise, it actually did.”
There’s plenty of stress that comes with playing high school sports. Pettigrew stars for Ardmore’s basketball team and expects to re-join the softball team next year. In that aspect, especially, Pettigrew has found relief in scripture.
“I began to notice that every time I started reading my bible, it made me feel a lot better,” Pettigrew said. “It’s not rainbows and uniforms at times, especially being in high school, but all I have to do is trust in God’s plan.”
Pettigrew has played basketball as long as she can remember, having joined her first YMCA league around first grade. She played for the local Lady Longhorns thereafter, where she learned “everything that [she knows] about basketball.”
“My dad and his best friend, Ben Parnacher, were my coaches,” Pettigrew said. “I played with them year-round from about second-eighth grade. It was amazing, and I made life-long friends. I’m very thankful for both of them because I don’t know where I’d be without them.”
Pettigrew grew closer with who would later become her AHS teammates playing for the Ardmore Tiny Thunder and later joined Texoma Takeover in eighth grade.
“Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in basketball are discipline and consistency,” Pettigrew said. “If you work for it, you will get it. Even on the days you don’t want to do anything, you have to be consistent. Don’t go easy on yourself. You have to push yourself in every drill and practice. . . You have to work for what you want and, most of the time, it’s not going to be easy.
“You’re going to have bad days, but that’s what comes with hard work,” Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew plans to pursue higher education after she graduates high school.
“I don’t really know exactly what I want to do for the future, but I know I want to graduate college and get a job I enjoy. I also want to travel the world and learn about different cultures!”