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When Hard Work Pays Off

By Leland March

Shay Motter looks to make a pass. Photo by Lea Menon

Senior Shay Motter is showing the world what it means to have hard work pay off.

Motter is from Urbandale, Iowa and is majoring in biology. Motter played basketball for his high school in Urbandale and played well enough to receive an offer to play to play for Waldorf University. When Motter got his scholarship he was just happy to be able to receive a scholarship and still be able to play the game he loves. Motter said, “I didn’t expect much once I got my scholarship, I was just happy to be on a team. “

In his first year at Waldorf University, Motter was placed on the junior varsity team and wasn’t expected by many to thrive, but that’s where Motter decided to prove the naysayers wrong. Motter came to practice and worked hard every day, continuing to work on his game and get better. At the end of his freshman year at Waldorf, Motter was averaging over 20 points a game and five rebounds.

Motter had already overachieved in the eyes of some of his peers, but that didn’t stop him from working hard day in and day out. Motter played so well in his first year at Waldorf that it caught the eye of the head coach Nigel Jenkins. Motter was promoted in his second season with Waldorf and put on the men’s varsity basketball team.

At this point in career, most people would consider his story to be success, but times weren’t always as easy as Motter made them seem. In Motter’s sophomore year, he was being mentally tested everyday as his playing time decreased significantly from junior varsity to varsity. Motter often wondered if it was all worth it. He said, “there would be days I would come to practice and be thinking in my head, like ‘will it ever get any better from here on.’”

At the end of his sophomore year Motter was skeptical after not playing in the majority of Waldorf’s games, but he shook off his doubts and continued working. In his junior year, Motter would see his playing time yo-yo up and down despite working as hard as he could. This prodded him to reshape his working habits.

Over the summer leading up to his senior year, Motter stayed at the Waldorf campus and worked on getting stronger and quicker. After a tough past two years, Motter was ready to prove that he deserved to play more. In training camp for the Waldorf Men’s Basketball team, Motter didn’t waste any time.

He quickly began to make his way up the ladder by out-working his opponents. By the start of his season, Motter was promoted to a starting position–something he had only dreamed of when he first got to Waldorf.

Now, in his senior year at Waldorf, Motter is averaging 10 points per game as a team captain. Motter has worked his way from the bottom to the top, and although there were some tough times he never gave up. Motter is continuing to be the poster child of when hard work pays off.