One Step Closer | Fast Break - Episode 4: IMG Academy Basketball
Graduation day is a time for celebration. Every student-athlete envisions the day they'll walk across the stage to accept their diploma while some dream of stepping up to the podium to address their peers. During those moments, they can take even just one second to reflect on their pathway and journey to that point. For Shae Mercer, IMG Academy class of 2022 valedictorian—and the girls basketball Ascender Award winner—this path was carefully planned from a young age.
“When I was really little, I told the kids in my school that I would be valedictorian,” Shae explains, “and ever since then it’s been in my head that it’s something I wanted to achieve.”
In her pursuit of being the best, Shae found herself surrounded by likeminded student-athletes at IMG. “She’s gotten to be with other girls that are just as driven,” says Chrysti Mercer, Shae’s mom. “As a mom, for your daughter, I think all those things are wonderful.”
Shae proved herself to be a great student, but she also managed to excel at basketball and a special extracurricular activity. “She was the mascot for this year’s academic year,” says Kelli Hinton, IMG college counselor. “She wants to win in everything that she does. That’s what we do here at IMG—we say, ‘Go be great.’ And Shae Mercer is pretty great.”
As Shae’s goal of becoming valedictorian becomes a reality, she reflects on how her environment shaped her. “I don’t know who I would’ve been if I hadn’t come to IMG,” Shae says. “It’s helped me get a lot closer to my goals and dreams, and for that, I will always be grateful.”
Watch the video to see Shae celebrate her success as she accepts her diploma on graduation day amongst her teammates and classmates. To learn more about the many offerings that IMG Academy has to offer, including basketball training camps and our boarding school program, click on the links below.