Updated: May 5, 2020
Though not on the active roster, Trinity Christian Academy Softball senior Shamiya Brathwaite is as much a part of the Conquerors as anyone else. Teammates, fans, coaches, and spectators will see Shamiya in the stands cheering on her friends and teammates at every softball game or most any other event she can attend, which is many.
Shamiya grew up on the softball field. She has loved the game since she was five years old. She played T-ball at Normandy Park on Jacksonville’s Westside and advanced through the park’s leagues until age 13. She played on all levels at Normandy Park: 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U.
Shamiya joined Trinity's junior high team in sixth grade and played all three years. She was Trinity’s IMSC starting pitcher and had the game-winning hit that drove in the final run to win the 2015 Independent Middle School Conference championship game in walk-off fashion. She is pictured here holding the trophy from that tournament with her sister, Tatiana.
“Sadly,” said Ms. Michele Ross, a friend and team mother, “that was the last game she played before her car accident, but she has been an inspiration for so many others for years.”
Shamiya suffered injury in an automobile accident later in 2015. Although she had to stop playing, she remained with the team throughout high school, cheering the Conquerors onto four consecutive Class 4A Final Four appearances, including a state runner-up finish in 2018 and a state championship in 2019. Coaches, friends, fans, and teammates always considered her a huge part of the team.
“She's always had a love for softball and still supports her Lady Gators and, of course, TCA Conquerors,” says Shamiya's mother, Ms. Shawnta Renee.
Shamiya continues to praise God every day for the blessings she has received: "To God be the glory for the exceedingly and abundant things that God does in my life." Her life verse is Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
Shamiya will graduate from TCA in 2020.
After high school Shamiya plans to attend Florida State College at Jacksonville while she finishes rehabilitation. After earning her associate degree, she plans to transfer to the University of Florida in Gainesville to major in pre-medicine. “One day,” says Ms. Renee, “she wants to give back everything that has been given to her by becoming a pediatric surgeon as well as motivational speaker.”
Shamiya shared some words from the late Pat Summit, the former head coach of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball program -- and winningest coach in NCAA history. Shamiya expressed Summit’s wisdom: "It's very simple. Winning is fun... SURE! But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is not the point. Not giving up is the point! Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you've done is the point.”
Shamiya added her own sentiments to the people most special to her: “I love you guys so much. You are like family. You are a part of my family. Thank you for always being on this journey with me. You've never forgotten me. You've never left me out. I am so appreciative. Thank you for being here through it all. I love you so much -- always!
“To my parents and family, I love you so much. I know I make you proud every day. LOL! Thank you for always investing everything into me. Thanks for believing and rooting for me no matter what. I am thankful for being able to attend Trinity Christian Academy. Here, I made so many friends and created so many memories because of you selecting the best school for me. I am most grateful for all the opportunities I've been afforded in life.
“So, I am about to keep living my best life. Look to your left for the perfect example of how to live life and guess whom you'll see... ME!”
Photos and Content Contributions: TCA Softball Family