Grace Speer is passionate about basketball.
“I see myself becoming a coach,” the Atlantic County Institute of Technology senior said. “I like to help everyone on the pitch.”
As for her future career, Speer has another choice that shows she is equally passionate about academics – environmental engineer.
The 6-foot Speer is averaging 14 points for the Red Hawks (3-3). She can play inside and on the perimeter and has 893 career points. Speer will continue his basketball career at Florida Institute of Technology on an NCAA Division II scholarship.
“One of the best feelings is if you’re in a tight game,” Speer said, “and you apply something that you worked on in practice and practiced for days and hours and that you score or you get a good save (defensive) It’s so amazing to know that all your hard work is paying off.
Speer, 18, lives in Estell Manor with her mother, Beth, and father, Justin. She has three older siblings: Patrick, 25, Jake, 23, and Emma, 21.
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Speer attends the ACIT Engineering Academy and has a 4.3 GPA.
During a phone interview Tuesday night, Speers touched on several topics, including his old hobby, crocheting.
How his basketball career started
In the town where I live, we have a recreational league called WACYL (West Atlantic County Youth League). My siblings have always played there. I love watching their matches. I knew I wanted to start playing too. That’s how I realized how much I loved sports by watching my siblings.
To be the youngest in her family
It taught me a lot (laughs). Being able to watch my siblings grow up and the decisions they made has definitely shaped who I am. Everyone says I’m spoiled, but I think it’s just because I’m younger than them that they say that. I really like having the support of my older siblings. They like to watch my matches even though they work, and it always means a lot to me that they come to support me. I’m very grateful.
By scoring 1,000 career points
It would mean so much to me, knowing that I was able to do this despite all the challenges I faced during my high school career. The coronavirus, of course. Everyone else on our team right now is so young. Knowing that the freshmen who are the future of our team will be able to watch me on my 1,000 point day will hopefully inspire them. I just want to be a good role model.
On her decision to attend Florida Institute of Technology
I was originally looking to go there because it’s really good with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors. When I contacted the coach (John Reynolds) and came down and visited, I absolutely loved the coach. It is a great university school. It is a highly competitive D-II school. I got along well with the girls on the team. I knew it would be a perfect fit for me.
On his major projects and his career
Currently, I want to become an environmental engineer. I really like the idea of helping the environment and ensuring that humans can continue to live on this earth.
On her ability to crochet
This is something a lot of people don’t do. Everyone is always surprised to hear that one. Last Christmas I crocheted a stuffed animal for all my friends. My mother taught us to sew, and then we joined a 4-H club in Atlantic County. Our 4-H chef (Frances Hagel) was sewing, cooking, baking and crocheting. She taught me a lot with crochet. I definitely continued.
On what it’s like to attend ACIT
It’s very diverse. Everyone is very passionate about what they want to do. When you come to a technical school, you already have an idea of what you want to do for your career. The people are truly amazing. I have a great group of friends. They come to my games. You meet lots of people far away who help you with whatever you need.