Earlier this month, Delia Zanoschi and Tum Preugpaibul (RCs) announced the winners of the inaugural HBS exceptional athlete awards, an initiative they started this year to recognize the best athletes at HBS. This week, Delia and Tum interviewed HBS Class of 2016 exceptional athlete winner Nora Barr.
NORA BARR: BASKETBALL
SECTION H, TIBURON, CA, USA
When did you start playing basketball?
In 3rd grade, my mother asked me what summer activities I wanted to try. I think she was a bit surprised when I answered “basketball.” At the time we had a basketball hoop in the back yard and whenever my uncle and cousins came to visit, I would watch them playing with my dad. Because they were all older, and soooo much cooler, I wanted to try – it wasn’t until later that I realized they weren’t really that good!
Who is your idol?
My sister, Lockwood Barr, is my idol. She is pursuing her dreams of becoming a successful singer/songwriter in Nashville. Not only is she a kind, fun, loving person and an incredible musician, but she is making her way through a tough industry with an unparalleled amount of poise, strength and dedication.
What was the biggest challenge you had to face and how did you manage it?
One month into my freshman year of high school, I was kicked in the head during a soccer game. I got a concussion and severe whiplash in my neck, and I couldn’t read for three months. I was plagued by nausea and headaches constantly. All physical activity was put on hold. All of a sudden, I had to rely on others for help in ways I had never had to do before – my parents even had to read my homework to me. On top of the physical pain, I felt completely helpless. It was a really tough time, but I was fortunate to be surrounded by my family and friends who helped me get through it. I could not have handled it alone.
Playing sports taught me that life is about figuring out what you want and actively going to get it; that self-confidence and success are both decisions to be made. At the end of the day, those decisions needed to come from me. I had to be the one who decided to keep shooting after practice ended to refine my skills and become the best player I could. This determination has translated into my academics, social life and personal priorities.