Cass Tech freshman Zuri Dean won the 100 butterfly, placed second in the 200 individual medley and anchored victories in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays to help her team win the Detroit Public School League girls’ swimming championship and earn her the nod as the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“She’s a hard worker,” Cass Tech coach Eugene Collins said. “If I ask her to knock down the wall for the team, she’ll knock the wall. She’ll swim whatever event I tell her to swim. She just loves swimming and competing.”
Dean’s versatility is a result of years of coaching. She began taking swimming lessons at age 5 and has been competing since age 8.
“I’ve always loved the water,” she said. “Swimming has given me great discipline because that’s what the sport requires. You have to work hard and have determination.”
Dean is a stronger distance swimmer than in the shorter races. “I can go a long way without getting tired,’’ she said. “I do all four strokes, but butterfly has been my best.”
With basketball season approaching, Dean intends is try out for that varsity sport. As a 5-5 guard, “I’m quick and I can dribble,” she said.
An all-A student entering Cass Tech, Dean said her favorite subject is Math. She desires to be a pediatrician and is counting on her academic and athletic achievements to strengthen her college opportunities in a few years.
“That’s what I’m working toward,” she said. “I really am looking forward to earning a college scholarship.”
As one of the few freshmen to be named PSLer of the Week, Dean looks at it as a springboard to more success. “It’s a great honor,’’ she said. “I’m excited about it and I believe I will live up to it.”
The Proud Strong Learner of the Week Award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletic performers and is sponsored by McDonald’s owner-operators of Detroit.