Nemo Vista’s Kassidy Barnes fighting team’s numbers

Sometimes the numbers literally aren’t in your favor. But that hasn’t deterred Kassidy Barnes and her Nemo Vista teammates. Nemo Vista is currently dressing seven players.

“As a team, we’ve gone to games this season with just five players, and personally that can be exhausting,” Barnes said. “Physically and mentally. I have to focus on keeping my head on straight and not showing my emotions out on the court. I’ve been trying to help my coach come up with solutions to have enough girls to even play. We went through a short time where we only had four players and had to forfeit a couple of games, so that was definitely a stressful challenge that we had to face.

“Even though we are short numbered in players, everyone on the team tries their best, and that’s all that matters.”

Barnes, a senior guard for Nemo Vista, was selected to this year’s 501 Basketball Team — 41 players representing the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the court. The team is sponsored by Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank and Conway Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center. The senior was nominated by her head coach, Kyle Payne.

“Kassidy is our most experienced returning player,” Payne wrote in his nomination. “She has great floor awareness and is a tremendous outside shooter. She is our motor both offensively and defensively. She keeps the defense spread and aware of her location at all times. She averaged over 10 points a game last year. She even went for 30-plus a couple games.

Nemo Vista High School’s Kassidy Barnes is a member of this year’s 501 Basketball Team, sponsored by Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank and Conway Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center.

“Kassidy will be our leader offensively and defensively. She is capable of making on-the-court decisions on both ends of the floor based on her experience. She has been a player that others have looked up to since she was in seventh grade and I first began coaching her.”

While the start of the season has been a struggle for Nemo Vista, Barnes has no trouble staying motivated.

“With every new season I try to push myself to beat my 3-point record for a single game, which is seven,” Barnes said. “That’s a personal goal I’ve always kept doing, and it pushes me to work harder.” Barnes is involved in several clubs at Nemo Vista — Beta Club; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; Future Business Leaders of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “After high school, I plan to get my real estate license during the summer and then attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in interior design,” Barnes said. 

Barnes and Nemo Vista play their final game of 2019 at Quitman at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20.

“One minute it’s your freshman year and you think you have so much time to play ball and that it will never end,” Barnes said. “And then one day you wake up and it’s your last season, and it just hits you like where has the time gone. Appreciate the time you have playing the sport you love and the people who you play it with.”

Levi GIlbert