Whiz Kid Award: Barrington's Anna Mae King
Be it the classroom or the athletic arena, Barrington graduate Anna Mae King was always on her game.
"She just got consistently better," said her freshman, junior and senior year French teacher Ellen Gibbons. "She is just really a consistent hardworking student. She's even keel, very relaxed and very down to earth."
Her self drive was out of this world.
"It was her commitment to every task and her ability to work all the way through the end of problem," said another one of King's favorite teachers, retired Alan Sanders, from the English department. "In education, we tend to call that grit."
That grit was also a quality King displayed on the diving board or the basketball court.
She could hit a 3-pointer in the most tense situations or land the perfect dive at the most crucial time.
After capturing the second-place diving medal at the 2019 IHSA state championship meet, King switched over to the hardwood and helped the Fillies to the Class 4A Sweet Sixteen.
King's education and athletic prowess has earned her the Daily Herald's Prep Sports Excellence Whiz Kid Award.
With a 34 on her ACT and a GPA of 4.31 this school year, King was named to the IHSA all-academic team.
"You have to have some very high numbers to even be nominated for that award, let alone to be selected as one of the 26 on the list," said Barrington hall of fame girls basketball coach Babbi Barreiro. "Academically and athletically, Anna Mae seems to be so self driven."
That motivation was instilled from her parents (Michael and Katie).
"My parents always encouraged me to work hard in class, be respectful of my teachers and listen to what they were saying," King said. "And they said to always pay attention."
King paid attention not only to her teachers but coaches as well.
The 3-point sharpshooter hit some big buckets for Barreiro's girls basketball team, just months after her big finish in the IHSA state diving meet.
"Anna Mae is a kid who comes to practice every day whether she is in season or waiting to begin," Barreiro said. "She is there watching and trying to learn more and I imagine she attacks her academics the same way."
Sanders, who taught King in two advanced placement classes (A's in both), will attest to that.
"Great athletes and great students like Anna Mae are rare," Sanders said. "They don't say no to any task. She is the kind of student who makes things look easy when they're very challenging for virtually everyone else. She is a gifted athlete and student."
King, who calls math her favorite subject, plans to study business at Boston College where she will also be a Division I diver. She plans to be on campus by Aug. 31 to begin studies and her first diving meet is scheduled in October.
So her busy schedule of school work and sports will continue in Massachusetts.
"I think school teaches us a lot of lessons about time management and working with other people," King said. "I think being a student, I was able to become a better leader in basketball and diving and manage my time. I think it all kind of plays together."
And not many played the student-athlete game better than King.