The 2017 Senior Perspectives is the 12th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Destiny Nunley, Women's Basketball
Hometown: North Richland Hills, Texas
House Affiliation: Leverett
My experience as a student athlete here at Harvard was, as I’m sure many have said, an incredible one. After suffering a season ending injury literally hours before our first game my freshman year, I slowly but sure rehabbed and fought my way back onto the court, earning myself a starting role and a captainship. The memories I’ll most likely walk away remembering most, are the lessons I learned as a co-captain. I had been elected captain as a senior in high school and thought, “oh, it’ll probably be the same thing, right?” Wrong. I didn’t consider the fact that these were women I was supposed to be leading; women from all over the country, and the world (since we’re including our incredibly brilliant 16 year old freshman from France), at different stages in their growth and development into young adults. We no longer have our parents behind us to peek over our shoulders and make sure we’re on the right track. We are truly learning what it means to be independent. So no, it wasn’t the same as leading my high school team.
Taylor and I (you guessed it, my co-captain and now one of my best friends) spent countless hours sitting up in our rooms deciding what the best way to lead our team would be. See, we’re both the type that like being liked. So when someone broke a team rule, we would almost literally draw sticks to decide who had to be the bad guy. But as the year went on, we both grew stronger. We realized that our team’s collective end goal was what was most important, not whether or not they liked us for that day. We realized that we were elected for a reason; that the team had entrusted us to hold them accountable and lead them to the finish line and they expected us to hold them to high standards, even if they didn’t always like it. And alongside that, they knew that we were fighting right along with them: holding back tears when you’d get hit in the mouth during a pickup game, fighting the urge to quit when running what felt like 100 sprints, and cheering when it all came together after a win. And that was the beauty of being a Harvard captain. The sisterhood. And that’s something I’ll hold near and dear to my heart forever.