As her final home game approached, Anna Jefferson-Polk paused a moment to let the reality sink in.
“I’m about to play my final basketball game in Weatherford,” she said. “I’ve been playing here a lot of years.”
Jefferson-Polk, a sophomore point guard for the Weatherford College Lady Coyotes, has also garnered a lot of fans in that time. Before joining the Lady Coyotes, she was an all-state guard for the Weatherford High School Lady Kangaroos.
“It just hit me that it’s going to be over soon, my playing here,” she said. “It seems like yesterday I was playing in middle school at Tison and junior league. I’m old!”
Jefferson-Polk was listed as 5-feet-3-inches tall when she came to WC, a height she playfully disputes.
“I’m 5-5, and with my hair bun I can pull off 5-6,” she said with a smile.
But whatever her height, she has made a career out of standing tallest among all players when she’s on the court and almost always they are all taller than her. For example, her senior season at WHS she was the lone returning player—not returning starter, lone returning player—and yet she led the Lady Roos to the postseason.
“I haven’t grown since seventh grade, and still the Lord blessed me to play this sport,” she said. “He blessed me to move, groove and keep on going.”
That sort of attitude is part of what has endeared Jefferson-Polk to anyone who comes into contact with her. Along with being talented with a basketball, she’s uplifting as a leader.
“People feed off negative and positive energy. It’s a chain reaction. I choose to focus on the positive,” she said. “Why not dream that big? You’re never going to get the biggest prize if you don’t dream about it.
“My teammate Monika (Faerber) says I’m ‘fun size.’”
Jefferson-Polk has also used her upbeat attitude to bring her through some rough times in her life, most notably the death of her mother from cancer and her grandmother from a stroke. Her mother passed away in 2005 and her grandmother a few years later as Anna was preparing for her freshman year of high school.
“I think they’d say they’re proud of me and they love me,” she said of what they would think of her success in high school and college. “I’d say ‘Thank you for making me the woman I am today.’ Even though we didn’t have much time together, they were a big part of my life; they still are.
“And now they have the best seats in the house.”
Jefferson-Polk’s mother played at Weatherford College as did her aunt and uncle.
She is currently studying science with a major in kinesiology. She wants to be a coach someday.
“She’s really a special girl. You don’t get them that often who come that committed,” Lady Coyotes coach Bob McKinley said. “She cares about everybody all the time. That’s why she’s such a good leader, because they know she’s genuinely caring about them.”
In typical Jefferson-Polk style, she wanted to thank everyone who has ever been supportive of her—but so many have done so because they, likewise, care about her—that it’s hard for her to narrow them down. So, she didn’t.
She reeled off a long list of folks to whom she is grateful, and it very well could include you reading this article. To make sure no one is left out, let’s just say if you are in her life, she is grateful for it, and that is not an exaggeration.
Soon her supporters will have to travel to see her play if she is able to achieve her goal and play at the next level for a larger school. It would not be a surprise if they did, and she’d be there with open arms to welcome them.
“I’m pretty sad about leaving Weatherford. When I graduated high school I was kind of hesitant about coming here (to WC) because I wanted to go explore the world. But looking back, I’m so glad I came here. It was one of the best decisions of my life,” she said. “Now I’m going to be somewhere else entirely, maybe 30 to 40 minutes away, maybe another state. But it won’t be Weatherford, and that makes me cry.
“I’m a very proud Lady Kangaroo alum and I’m soon to be a very proud Lady Coyote alum. And I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve had since I was little bitty.
“It’s been quite a ride. I’ve met some great people. I now have friends from Czechoslovakia, Australia, Slovenia, all over the world. And I will always have my Weatherford family.”