The Voice Behind the Anthem


Makiya Russelburg, Paolite Staff Writer

This year, sophomore Gracie Walls has been the voice behind the National Anthem at many of the girls’ home varsity basketball games.

“Last year, I promised EB that I would sing the National Anthem on her senior night. I thought she would forget by the time it came around, but she kinda got me stuck doing it,” said Walls. 

Once they heard Walls sing in a video played at a team dinner, coach Lora Laswell and Head Coach Scott Blankenbaker loved the idea of her singing as much as senior teammate EB Kerby.  

“It’s so much tension and nerves building up, but once I start they slowly let go, and the more I sing it the easier it gets,” said Walls.

Singing the anthem also helps Walls prepare for the game.

“My favorite part of singing it is right after I hand the microphone back to Mr. Jones. I walk back over to the bench and all of my teammates are screaming and yelling for me, and all my coaches give me fist bumps and pats on the back. It makes me feel really good and ready to play some basketball,” said Walls.