Harker Heights at Killeen Girls Basketball

Harker Heights' Destiny Pemberton (15) shoots over Killeen's Cierra Penn on Dec. 7 at Killeen High School.

For Lady Knights’ guard Destiny Pemberton, basketball has always been the game for her.

Her love of the sport comes from years of family bonding over watching NBA and college basketball games, including March Madness, on TV.

Pemberton didn’t get her first basketball until she was in the fourth grade, but made her first team in seventh grade playing for Liberty Hill Middle School.

“My dad used to play basketball,” she said of where her interest in the game came from. “He was really good, so I decided to try out and I was actually good.”

Now in her junior year at Harker Heights, and her third year playing varsity, Pemberton is glad to see the Lady Knights’ hard work pay off as they sit atop the District 12-6A standings heading into the new year.

“It means a lot,” she said. “We have a lot of talent and it just shows that when we put it together, we can be great.”

Heights has not lost a district game since Dec. 7 when the Lady Knights fell on the road to crosstown rival Killeen, 49-36.

“I don’t think we should have lost the first time,” noted Pemberton. “But when we play them again, it will be a different outcome.”

It was the words of head coach Shirretha Nelson that ignited the fire for the Lady Knights’ four game winning streak, according to Pemberton.

“Coach said, ‘You guys have too much talent to lose the way you did,’” she said. “And that motivated us all.”

She may already be set for the rematch that is scheduled for Jan. 15 at Harker Heights but that’s only because it’s the first step toward a goal she has set before she graduates.

“I want to go a couple rounds in the playoffs,” Pemberton said. “I want to go get us there.”

While basketball has been her entire life up to this point, she has a career goal of becoming a doctor.

“I watched ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ when I was in seventh grade,” she said. “And I just thought it was so cool.”

And while the inspiration for her dream job may have came from a TV show, when she’s not on the court, she’s most likely training for her future job playing medical scenario games on her phone in her free time.

fcardenas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7562

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