TROY, AL (WSFA) - Troy player Amahni Upshaw's love of basketball dates back to her days in diapers.
"When I was little, everyone has one of those little goals, and I played with my father," said Upshaw. "When I was little, I got started in the Upward program in the community and it's just took me from there."
The junior has been playing the last three years for the Trojans after having a stellar career at Brantley. Coming to Troy was a no-brainer.
"I just wanted to be close to home and have that support," said Upshaw. "Every time the stands are filled with Brantley people, I just like to know I have that hometown support."
During her time with the Trojans, Upshaw has grown from a shy freshman to one of the leaders for this program. Head coach Chanda Rigby calls her the epitome of a true teammate on the court and an even better leader off of it.
"It's just all about knowing what the coaches need and what the team needs as well," said Upshaw. "I see myself as a leader coming from high school. I've always had that role finish and it's the point of having the opportunity of being that person and I feel like this is my year."
On the court for Upshaw, she said the most important thing for her is knowing her role.
During this season, Upshaw has moved from forward to running the point when her team needs her to, which makes her so easy to play with.
"You do what they need you to do and what you're told to do," said Upshaw. "I played guard before in high school and I went back to that a few games ago because that's what she needed me to do."
Upshaw makes sure to give back to the community. When not on the court or the gym, Upshaw is usually out in Troy spending time with Trojan fans and thanking them for their support, especially the kids.
"I love the kids. These parents take time to bring their kids out to interact with us and I think it goes beyond being on the court," said Upshaw.
"I met a little girl at camp. She means a lot to me," said Upshaw. "I would consider her my best friend. She's about five or six. Her name is Maddie Sellers. Her father works here with the media, his name is Jonathan. I keep up with them still. I played Candyland, she loves it. We play Barbie dolls. We actually colored not too long ago. Just to know that she can look up to me and I'm always going to be there for her."
Upshaw looks to continue leading the Trojans this season as Troy goes for its third straight Sun Belt title and earn another berth in the NCAA tournament.