Reed ready for life after basketball

Lady Scot senior hopes to make a bigger impact on public policy

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By Stefan Cooper
Sports Editor
Blount Today

Beth Reed wants to make a difference.

If she could meet one public figure, it would be former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"I’d like to ask him exactly what happened with Iraq," she says.

She worries what effects the recent hike in the national minimum wage will have on the economy and individual lives.
"Do you want to pay the money in taxes or social costs?" she asks. "My dream job would be working in the White House for a president on social policy."

The Maryville College senior is definitely not your average collegiate point guard. Reed’s mom, Elaine, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Reed is one of three seniors, along with shooting guard Summer Dalton and forward Kim Seal, who’ll be recognized prior to tipoff when Maryville hosts Tennessee Wesleyan College in a men’s and women’s doubleheader this afternoon at Cooper
Athletic Center.

The Maryville and Wesleyan women tip at 5:30 p.m., with the men’s game following at 7:30.

Reed is delivering a final campaign to remember in directing the Maryville team. Averaging 7.1 points per game, her 6.3 assists are a Lady Scot best. Reed and junior Melissa Uner rank one and two for Maryville with 81 and 80 steals,
respectively. Reed’s 46 percent shooting and four rebounds per contest are indicative of solid numbers all ’round.

Reed has never been dictatorial as a team leader, "aside from the fact we have to have Mellow Yellow on the bus all the time," Seal said.

Leadership isn’t ordering people around, Reed said. It is, as the word implies, leading.

It’s something Elaine taught her, she said, gleaned from lessons learned early that remain timeless.

Elaine Reed, who never attended college, always insisted success in the classroom come first, Beth said.

"When I was growing up, Bs were unacceptable," she said.

It fostered an approach to excellence that followed the future Lady Scot to playing field once Beth became interested in sports, only it wasn’t basketball where she would first make an impact.

Reed was one of the region’s top soccer prospects her senior year at Powell High School. When she arrived at Maryville four seasons ago, it was as a dual-sport standout. After a difficult first season of trying to make both work at the college level, Reed settled on basketball.

"My passion was basketball, so I wanted to focus all my energy on that," she said.

A bout with mononucleosis her sophomore season slowed Reed’s progress at Maryville. "I never felt like I got in good shape," she said.

Last summer, she had her tonsils removed, missing much of preseason in the process.

Undeterred, Reed said she, Dalton and Seal huddled before the season to map out their senior year goals. They wanted to reach the NCAA tournament round of 16. The wanted to leave behind a legacy.

When Reed blew up for a team-high 29 points in a season-opening tournament in Virginia, Maryville looked to have just the start it was hoping for. There was just one thing, Reed said. Elaine wasn’t there to see it.

Her mom has never made much of a fuss over what she accomplished on the basketball court, Beth said. Elaine Reed, who finds the same seat each game at Cooper Athletic Center for each Maryville home game, has always been the picture of composure and restraint, much like her point guard daughter. But that was before Reed went off for the career-high 29 points.

When she took her daughter’s phone call, Elaine Reed finally let down her guard.

"When I told her, she started crying because she was so happy and so proud," Beth said. "She wished she could have been there."

Those tears are likely to return this evening, this time not only from Elaine.

"My mom will probably make me cry," Beth said. "All by myself, I’m OK."

Reed, in keeping with her focused outlook on the future, is an international business major at Maryville. Economics on the international level fascinates her, she said. The White House gig would be great, but she’s keeping her options open.

"What I really want to do is government work," she said. "To me, it’s fascinating to look at economics on an international level and not just domestically."

Trade with underdeveloped countries is another point of interest.

"I’m an idealist in the belief that if you can make a difference, why not try?" she said.

Should Reed and Powell ever meet, it might behoove the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to have his facts

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