FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – “When I play, I am not just playing for myself, I am also representing my tribe, my family and God as well,” Nova Southeastern women’s basketball sophomore guard Skyla Osceola says.
A member of the Seminole Tribe and Sharks women’s basketball team, Osceola is passionate, unselfish, hard-working, caring, mindful and dedicated. Being a true Seminole, Osceola is not scared of adversity but is always ready to overcome whatever life throws at her. Her tribe, her family and basketball are the three main pillars in her life.
“I have everything that you would want in a family,” explained Osceola. “I am very blessed to have that because I do not feel like very many people get to experience it.” One out of seven siblings, she has a unique connection with her family. In fact, location was a key determinant during her college search. “My family is one of the main reasons why I stayed in-state, NSU is close to home,” Osceola added.
“Unconquered” is how she described her tribe. Made up of strong, kind and supportive individuals, the tribe means everything to her. Every member of the community shows non-stop support to her not only in basketball but also in other areas of her life, including her current injury.
After appearing in all 27 games during her freshman year, Osceola suffered a knee injury followed by a plantar fascia injury in November last year, which left her out for the rest of this season.
“I was a little devastated at first because I was coming back from my knee injury…but I have my coaches, my teammates and my family here to support me through this entire process…when things get hard, that is when you grow as a person and player.”
Despite suffering from back-to-back injuries, Osceola knows how to remain positive when hard times arrive. Her injuries have taught her to be more patient and focused, and allowed her to support her team from a different place.
“I feel more vocal than anything,” Osceola said. “My coach always emphasizes that with me, that I can’t go quiet and that is something I am still working on. Even sitting on the sideline now, I feel like that is where I play a huge part, is my vocal leadership.”
Leadership is one of her strengths, but so is unselfishness. Caring for others is a core value in her family and she truly honors that. “I love passing, getting the court open, I’d take that over scoring all day…I love seeing my teammates score and there is nothing that makes me feel better than watching them perform at that level,” Osceola emphasized.
A true leader, Osceola highlights the importance of her words matching her actions. Every talk she has with her teammates and coaches must have a meaning and an impact.
“I do not speak just to say something, I always speak with purpose,” Osceola concluded.