During her time as a Banks County Lady Leopard, Heather Vaughan has shown her ability to lead the team and not be afraid to take chances.
If you've watched a Banks County girls' basketball game, chances are Vaughan has shown her ability to take the ball to the hole on a hard layup. Or, like the "Splash Brothers" in the NBA, Vaughan isn't afraid to let a 3-pointer fly from well behind the arc.
All of her hard work of learning how to score in different ways led her to join the 1,000-point club for her high school career on Dec. 17 vs. Monticello.
Vaughan said she knew hitting the 1,000 points was in reach, especially on the night it happened as signs were in the crowd, ready for the basket to fall that pushed her over the hump.
"When I went into the game, I was really nervous," Vaughan said. "I couldn't have done it without all of my coaches or my team. They got me the ball as much as they could. I hit some shots.
"It's crazy, as soon as I got it, it was the best feeling I've had, because I've worked so hard ... It feels good."
Vaughan joined Banks County as a junior. She dropped in on a team that had a lot of leading seniors.
"Coming from Habersham (Central) was a big change for me, as far as basketball and school, where I lived," she said. "Everything was a big change. But my coaches, everybody took me in, like, I've been here for years.
"It was a good feeling. I just hopped right in and did my thing."
Now, as a senior, Vaughan is one of the seniors that she looked up to during her first year as a Lady Leopard, and she is learning to become a leader.
"We're working on everybody stepping up," she said. "We're still getting better every day during practice and games. Every chance we get, we're just working to get better every day."
She said it was hard to see the previous senior class leave. But as the new season began, the Lady Leopard squad has grown closer together.
"Everybody is really close on the team," Vaughan said. "It's like a family."
Even though the 2019-20 season hasn't gone exactly how the Lady Leopards thought it would to start, Vaughan said every team goes through the highs and lows in any season.
"Every team goes through it," Vaughan said. "You can be the best team, you can be the worst team, it doesn't really matter ... you just have to stick together as a team, work every day and get better every day."
And if there's a group she gives a lot of credit to for her development as a player, it is Banks County's head coach Steven Shedd and the Lady Leopard coaching staff.
"He means a lot to me," Vaughan said. "I'm a coaches' (player). I'm going to college next year. I couldn't have done it without any of my coaches. They work with me every day, and I get better every day."
Vaughan has hit 10 3-pointers in a game before. She credits the environment Banks County creates with allowing her to have big games.
"It hypes everybody up, it hypes the whole team, the coaches, everybody," Vaughan explained. "I guess when I'm feeling it, everybody else is feeling it ... hope we get out with a win every time."