By Doug Gorman
Tameka Pease is a woman of many talents.
The Forest Park senior sings, makes good grades in school and also was one of the stars on her high school basketball team.
Those are talents she no doubt picked up from her parents. Her father David owns Sound Trax recording studio in Forest Park and is also athletically and musically inclined.
"She's a chip off the old block," David Pease said of his daughter.
Pease had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at several Forest Park basketball games before taking the court to play for the Lady Panthers.
It was her basketball talent family and teachers celebrated Tuesday morning as Pease became one of the first Lady Panthers in years to sign a basketball scholarship when she inked her name on a letter of intent to Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.
During her senior year, Pease helped lead her team to 11 wins. It was the first time in several seasons the Lady Panthers finished with double figures in victories.
Pease did her part by averaging right at seven points and seven rebounds per game.
"We had a great group of girls this season," said head coach Ron Chaffin. "Tameka was one of the leaders, she set an example for the rest of the team."
Chaffin, who took over as coach two years ago, is excited about Pease's future.
"I think the upside of this is she hasn't come close to realizing her own potential," Chaffin said. "The downside is, she sometimes has a lack of confidence in her own ability. Shaw is getting a very talented basketball player, now she needs to go out there and show what she can do."
Pease, who plans to major in communications, considered other schools before deciding to attend Shaw University, the oldest historically-black college in the South.
"I liked the campus, and the teachers, and thought it would be a place I would like to attend even if I didn't play basketball," she said.
Frances B. Pease is excited her daughter is getting a chance to go to such a prestigious university.
"It's nice to see she is getting the opportunity to realize her dreams," she said.
Forest Park Athletic Director Thomas Chisholm hopes Pease's signing is the start of a trend for Forest Park athletes.
The school's baseball team is putting together one its best seasons in years. The Panthers have been ranked in the Class AAAA state baseball poll this season and are in the running for a spot in the playoffs after beating Lithia Springs on Monday.
Chisholm is also close to hiring a new boys basketball coach, a decision he could reach by the end of the week.
"We want to build a program here," Chisholm said. "We want to send quality, respectable student-athletes off to college who have great work ethics."