Trayniece Mims, a senior at Hyde School’s Woodstock, Connecticut campus, has made quite the impression since arriving at the beginning of the school year. Though many recognize her as a star basketball player, scoring more than 20 points (with a season high of 38) in each of her games this season, she also sets the example as a mentor, student, and family role model.
Trayniece grew up in New Haven, CT, where she learned firsthand about overcoming adversity. “Before I came here (Hyde) it was pretty rough. I really wasn’t going to school, was missing out, had a bad attitude, and I didn’t know where to go from there. I was in the streets, and where I live was basically bad, a lot of shootings, murdering, fighting.”
Now, Trayniece’s desire to forge a better future for her family, her mother and her five siblings, drives her to succeed. “My goal is to get where I need to get just to help my mom out right now. The more she sees me being more successful the happier she will be. And being a role model for my family, not just at school. I want my brothers and sisters to see how much they could make a turn around and be successful also, because if I can do it they can look up to me and say, if Trayniece can do it, I can also do it myself.”
In the Hyde community, Trayniece has proven that she is indeed a role model, in the classroom, the court, and beyond. “Trayniece is a beautiful mentor. When we took the ‘Know Yourself, Be Yourself’ program to the fourth graders at Hyde-Brooklyn, she was one of the students to lead off the day—setting a tone of enthusiasm, courage and humility,” said Lucinda Warnick. As a student, “She participates in discussion, advocates for herself, and frequently stays behind after class to ask questions—something she never did at her old school according to her,” said Dan Osar, her English teacher.
Though Trayniece is much more than a basketball player, the sport remains her passion. She started playing at the age of five, and she has coached youth teams at her local gym, high school teams, and she trains students, boys and girls, at the Hyde School. She says, “I always wanted to play with the boys because they knew the game and it was rough. I always played with them so I could be tougher and stronger than them. I always wanted to prove my game.”
Her performance on the court has been convincing. “Trayniece is a fierce competitor on the floor and an insightful, patient coach in practice. She would rather teach than get mad, which allows the girls to trust her,” said coach Pam Bertschy. Of her own game, Trayniece shared, “I’m not gonna say I’m the best and I’m good. I still got a lot to work on, but right now my game has improved since last year. My attitude improved in the game of basketball, and you know, that’s my passion.”
Trayniece hopes to continue her basketball career as a player at the college level and eventually overseas, and she also dreams of being a high school coach. But, at the end of the day, she does what she does for her family. She is a humble leader, a role model, and a student that makes her community proud.