published Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Evansville University Purple Aces get GPS's Simone Busby

  • photo
    GPS goalkeeper Simone Busby, No. 1, dives for the ball while Baylor's Chloe Brackett, No. 3, and GPS's Josie Love Roebuck, No. 6, follow it close behind in this file photo.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

As good of a goalkeeper as Simone Busby has been for the GPS soccer team the past five seasons, the most incredible part has been that she has been excelling while dividing time between three sports.

For the next four seasons, her primary devotion will be on the pitch.

Busby signed to continue her soccer career at Evansville University in Indiana. The Lady Purple Aces compete in the Missouri Valley Conference under the direction of Krista McKendree, an Evansville grad who is the only All-American soccer player in school history.

"It's not too small there, but it's not too big," Busby said. "The people are very nice there; they're proud of the campus and they make you feel welcome when you're there."

Busby, who recently played for the Guyana Women's National Team, has been the definition of a three-sport star since enrolling at GPS as an eighth-grader. She won the Division II state shot put competition in track as a freshman, with a throw of 35 feet, 9.5 inches. Her junior season on the basketball court, she's been an all-state honoree and averaged 13 points and 5.5 rebounds in the state tournament on her way to tourney MVP honors as the Bruisers won the state title. In soccer, she's been a three-time all-state selection, using her cat-quick reflexes to snare shots from multiple angles.

With close friends Chadarryl Clay, Tori Kemp and Jenae Perry continuing their athletic careers at Auburn, North Carolina and Loyola (Md.), respectively, the foursome will for the first time since sixth grade be apart.

"It's going to be different, because I've been with these girls for six years," Busby said. "We're going to make sure we get together when we can and we'll still talk as much as possible, but we're all going to be focused on sports and practicing a lot."

She mentioned that while her focus will be on soccer, she'll still get opportunities to get on the hardwood in college.

"It's going to be hard to give up the other sports, especially basketball," she said. "The soccer team will do some basketball training in the offseason, but I think that when I have all of my time devoted to goalkeeper training, it'll make me better because it'll help my kicking skills, my ability to stop more shots and help my overall feel for the game."

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