Women’s Basketball Team registers to vote


The Women’s Basketball team during one of their 2019 games.

Mitchell Mercer, Staff Writer

If you have been watching sports since their return from the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have noticed a big emphasis on voting.

Many professional sports leagues and their players throughout the United States have made a valid effort to get everyone registered to vote in the upcoming election if they haven’t already done so. Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers recently formed a voting rights group prior to the election, while NBA teams are making an effort to turn their arenas into voting centers. The NCAA will not be holding events on November 3rd so all student athletes can vote, and the NFL are making public service announcements starring Houston Texans Quarterback Deshuan Watson and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to encourage all viewers to register to vote in the upcoming election.During the playoffs, NBA players acknowledged the need to get out and register by wearing “Vote” t-shirts during their pre-game warm ups.

Here at Presbyterian College, the effort to get everyone registered to vote has been a top priority for the PC Women’s basketball team.

The PC Women’s basketball team recently got recognition for getting 100% of the team registered to vote in the upcoming election. Alaura Sharp, the team’s head coach of three years, said that the push to vote throughout the country made her see that it was important for her to teach the team to use their voice by getting out and voting on November 3rd.

“There is a big push right now to get young voters involved and registered to vote. We feel as a women’s basketball staff that it is part of our role to teach our student athletes to use their voice. What better way than on Election Day” Sharp said.

Trin Johnson, junior guard on the women’s basketball team and 2019-2020 Big South Honorable Mention, said that her team had discussions about social injustice over the summer and felt that the best way to create change was to register to vote and participate on election day.

“Ever since the summer, we as a team have had discussions on the social injustice that has occurred throughout the last decade and most recently in 2020. We all decided to register to vote in order to make a change in politics and hopefully society as a whole” Johnson said.

With the push for people to vote, Coach Sharp said that she was able to help get her team registered through the Coaches for Change organization. The organization, which was founded by college coaches in America, and aims to engage, educate, empower and evolve the young voter on past and present issues of social injustice, systemic racism, and the power of voting. The main goal of Coaches for Change is to pursue equality and equity for all.

“Coaches for Change is an organization that has put out a lot of information on how to go about getting your team registered to vote. Our director of basketball operations, Mercedes Jorge has done a great job of researching and finding a way to easily get our team registered to vote and was the one who found this website and resource. This website made it really easy to step by step get this done” Sharp said.

Trin Johnson said that with the exception of one player who is not a citizen of the United States, all of the women’s basketball players were able to get registered to vote. “I do not think there were any difficulties in getting everyone to register except for one of my teammates who does not live in the United States” Johnson said.

Sharp is very happy to know that her players will use their voices to enact change throughout the world and that other coaches and teams are following suit.

“We have players from all parts of the US and a player from Portugal so for us it feels very rewarding that our players will use their voices in all parts of the world.  It already has encouraged other PC teams to register their teams. Our SAAC has done a great job of spreading the word to other teams and I am excited that coaches are stepping up to lead their teams in this area” Sharp said.

Most importantly for Sharp’s team, she says that she’s very excited for her players to know that they will win off the court by making an impact on their respective communities.

“It means a lot to myself and our staff that our team is registered and we have encouraged them to research the candidates so they can be informed on Election Day. The NCAA has mandated that there are no practices on Nov. 3 so we will make sure to encourage our team to go and vote,” Sharp said. “Making an impact on and off the court is what our program is about. Our staff truly believes in order to win on the court you must win off the court first.”

Johnson agreed with Sharp and said that seeing everyone registered to vote made her confident that the players, and the PC community as a whole, can help change the world.

“To see everyone on my team registered to vote makes me feel assured that they realize that there needs to be a change. If my teammates whose ages range from 18-22 can see that this world needs change, then I’m more than confident that other ages see it as well. I hope this will encourage other students and student athletes on campus to register to vote,” Johnson said.