She stood at the podium with a basketball in one hand and a Bible in the other. Using both with great skill helped Shannon Colbert get to that podium.
Nearly 40 family members and friends made their way to the Julian Smith Casino in Augusta to watch her sign a scholarship to play basketball for Paine College.
After she signed on the dotted line, Shannon, an Evans High School senior, took the podium and thanked the people who helped her achieve her goal of getting to college.
After thanking them, she sat down behind a keyboard and sang a medley of songs.
"I have looking forward to this day for a long time," she said. "It took a lot for me to get here and I just can't wait to start playing basketball again."
Health-related issues forced Shannon to miss the majority of her senior season. Her mother, Brenda Colbert, said it was a minor reoccurrence of a problem that forced Shannon to have major surgery during her sophomore year.
"The important thing is that she is OK now and ready to move on," Brenda said.
Though Shannon gives a tremendous amount of credit to her doctors, she also said her faith in God gave her the strength and courage to persevere.
"Basketball is very important to me," she said. "But my God made all this possible."
The decision to play for Paine College was relatively easy. Shannon said she applied to 12 school across the country and received six scholarship offers - one came from a California school.
In the end though, family won out. Besides wanting to stay close to home, Shannon said she is proud to be the latest in a long line of family members to go to Paine.
Both her parents attended Paine, as did all three of Brenda's sisters.
"If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me," Shannon said.
Brenda said she was a cheerleader while she was a student at Paine and is looking forward to the opportunity to put on the Paine purple and cheer for Shannon.
"We are all very proud of her because of the person she has become," Brenda said. "It is going to be great watching her play at my school."
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