compassion 15Dec20 2

Some call her Daysia while others shout her name as Day-Day…but no matter the challenge or opportunity for Idaysia Mills, it’s all about helping others and making people happy.

“If I were to define myself with three words, I’d choose kind, energetic and most importantly reliable,” said the 2021 junior at McCurtain High School. “I want people to know they can always count upon me to be in their corner.”

Having played basketball since she was six years old, Mills often chuckles when others try to pronounce her first name.

“It happens all the time when they announce our starting lineup,” smiled Mills. “Unless we’re playing at home, I know they’ll say it wrong and I just laugh.”

Her coach, Bryan Schlekeway, points out that most remember the non-stop efforts whenever Mills is on the basketball court.

“She’s a very good defender, a tough rebounder,” replied the Lady Bulldogs head coach. “Idaysia is a three-year starter and many times she’s the best player on the floor.”

What’s the mindset of number 24 when the whistle signals its game time?

“I just keep hearing the words of my coach over and over again,” Mills said with a voice of confidence. “Play your hardest and leave it all on the court. Whether we’re on defense or offense, just go all-in until the whistle sounds.”

According to her coach, who also has a name that has drawn many different pronunciations from announcers, Mills is the same way off the court.

“She’s all in, a person who proves how effort and commitment can help you reach your goals,” replied Schlekeway.

Dreams for Mills after high school include college where she hopes to become a registered nurse. What’s the strategy to reach her goals? In the words of Idaysia Mills, it’s all about character first.

“I always try to be positive and show respect to everyone and try to make others’ dreams come true,” said Mills. “My legacy is to define the meaning of being part of the McCurtain Lady Bulldogs family. Living here all my life, I’ve known that whenever I may have needed something, they were there for me. I just want to be recognized as being the hardest worker and someone who made life better for others every day.”