ROGERS, Ark. — Rogers Heritage guard Carlee Casteel is a basketball star who can shoot.
“Carlee is a dynamic basketball player,” said Josh Laymon, Rogers Heritage girls basketball head coach.
And she's someone shooting for the stars.
“I want to go to Mars, I think it would be so cool,” Casteel said.
The senior will get to advance both of her passions, basketball and her dream of being an astronaut, at the next level.
Casteel signed last week to play Division I hoops at Army West Point, one of the premier institutions in the country.
“It was special,” Casteel said of her signing ceremony. “My whole family was there. My friends were there. All of my coaches were there. It was a special day and I really enjoyed it.”
Tuesday’s ceremony is just the start of what Casteel hopes is a special journey filled with learning and service.
“You have a million opportunities at West Point,” Casteel said. “To go protect our country, they (soldiers) sacrifice their family life. They sacrifice their own life, their personal wants, and desires so that we can have ours. I think it’s important to give back, and if that’s the way I’m going to do it, I’ll give back that way.”
Tuesday was also the start of a week to remember, as three days later Casteel scored 38 points against Little Rock Central, marking the War Eagles' record for points in a game.
“It’s something that was fun to watch,” Laymon said. “She was getting the opportunity to get to her spots and took care of business.”
The whole week, both on and off the court, Laymon says shows just how bright Carlee’s star shines (along with her 36 ACT score).
“She’ll go to West Point, and we’ll take great pride in her ability to play basketball,” Laymon said. “Basketball is the first step of what her story is going to be. What we get to see after Carlee has finished playing basketball is going to be the really exciting part.”
It's a story of service and of a legacy, she hopes to leave behind.
“West Point I think is a place I think my life can leave an impact on the lives to come after me,” Casteel said.
“Not only willing to represent our community, but also to represent our nation, and I think that’s pretty fitting for Carly,” Laymon said.