At an early age, Sedayjha Payne learned to be aggressive.
“I came up around a lot of boys so it came from them,” Payne said.
Payne is using her toughness to lead one of the best girls basketball teams in Central Florida.
Wekiva is 14-2 and beat previously unbeaten Tampa Alonso to win the Florida Prospects Holiday Tournament title last week.
Payne was the tournament MVP.
“Sedayjha brings a lot of energy to the team and she brings that leadership,” Wekiva coach Tommie Butts said. “A lot of girls feed off her energy.”
Payne played at nearby Apopka in her freshman and sophomore seasons but immediately commanded respect among her new teammates with a tireless work ethic.
“I think anywhere she goes she’s going to have that leadership role,” Butts said. “That’s just instilled in her so we’re fortunate to have Sedayjha.”
Said Payne: “Everybody over here has talent so when I came over here my mentality was like I got to work and keep working. There’s no days off, I just gotta keep working, no matter what.”
The upcoming second semester promises to be very busy for Payne.
She’ll try to help Wekiva win a second state championship. Then in the spring, she’ll run track and play flag football. Payne was the Orange County Flag Football Player of the Year in 2016.
“I think if we didn’t have flag, she would play tackle,” Butts said.
It wouldn’t be the first time she competed against the boys.