Shawntal Byrd, who was a scrappy, defensive-minded player for the Dougherty basketball team, signed a letter-of-intent to accept a basketball scholarship to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Ala.
ALBANY — Unselfish, tough-as-nails, unrelenting ...
That’s the way they describe Dougherty High’s Shawntal Byrd, who was the walking embodiment of the term tenacious D for the Lady Trojans.
“She was a defensive specialist,’’ said Dougherty girls basketball coach Charlene Jackson, who was on hand with Byrd’s friends and family Friday at the school when Byrd signed a letter-of-intent to accept a basketball scholarship to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Ala.
“There were four or five other schools, but (Wallace) let me know they wanted me,’’ said the 5-foot, 7-inch point guard. “They were up front with me, and I liked the campus, the apartments and the area around the school when I had a workout there.’’
Byrd averaged six points and six assists a game and always drew the opponents’ best player on defense, and that’s where she thrived with an in-your-face brand of defense that always gave Dougherty an edge.
“It’s a mind thing. My mentality is I want the ball,’’ Byrd said. “I love playing defense more than offense. I just have a feel for it.’’
She was the ultimate role player.
“She could have had more points but she was doing what we wanted her to do as our point guard, hand out assists and play defense,’’ Jackson said.
Byrd will major in physical therapy — and a physical brand of defense.
“It’s just what I love to do,’’ she said.