Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Experience has been the best teacher for Renaissance High’s Elizabeth Badgett, the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
In her fourth year on the varsity and second as a starter, the Lady Phoenix’s 5-4 senior point guard has accomplished almost everything she could in her high school career except for one goal — winning the state Class A title.
“We got there, but we didn’t make it,” said Badgett, referring to her team’s loss to East Lansing in last year’s championship game. “This year, we have five seniors who start and I think our experience is really going to help. The main thing is to stay fully focused and playing together as a team. If we keep working hard and take it one game at a time, we’ll be alright.”
Badgett’s ball-handling and decision-making are key reasons the Lady Phoenix have a full head of steam after capturing their third consecutive PSL title Feb. 17 with a 63-59 overtime victory against previously unbeaten Pershing.
“Liz Badgett took unbelievable pressure the entire game from Pershing’s awesome guards, but she held the tempo and she controlled the game,” Renaissance Coach Diane Jones said. “Without her, we don’t win that game.”
Badgett sees her role as an extension of the coach. “I’m the brains of the team,” she said. “Being the point guard, you’ve got to be the floor general and guide everybody so we can be successful. Without the point guard, just like without the quarterback in football, the play is not going to run.”
In the PSL title game, Badgett matched her season averages with 11 points and five assists and, defensively, had three steals. “This was one of my biggest city tournaments,” she said.
“Pershing is a really good team and their guard pressure is really awesome. I just had to keep it in my head to stay settled. It was a big crowd, so I just had to play with intensity but still not turn the ball over. Just play smart.”
The victory was sweet revenge for Badgett and the Lady Phoenix after suffering a 59-45 nonleague loss to Pershing in the season opener.
“I’ve played varsity four years and, as a freshman, we lost the city to Pershing,” Badgett said. “But now we’re three-peat champions. It was a big honor to come back as a senior and get my last city title. I really enjoyed it. I’m real happy because we played with heart and pride. We never gave up.”
Badgett, who has a 3.0 grade point average, credits her Renaissance experience for helping her achieve in academics as well as athletics. She hasn’t made her college choice known, but expects to play in college while studying for a career as a bio-chemical engineer. “I really like math and science,” she said. “Physics is one of my favorite subjects.”
Of being named PSLer of the Week, Badgett said “It’s real exciting and a big privilege. On our team, everybody has to be a student-athlete. We all try to maintain a 3.0 GPA and we try to get it done on the basketball court. The success we’re having now all comes with experience and knowledge. Every game we play, we try to get better.”