CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Some describe Naomi Darrett as “quiet”.
But her American Sign Language and Spanish teacher, Erica Orjuela, warns:
“Her actions are so much louder than her words.”
Darrett is a senior at Mariner High School, and she’s very much in action when on the basketball court.
She’s a 2020 2nd Team News-Press All-Area Team Nominee, and a 2020 Ms. Basketball finalist for the Southwest Florida Association of Basketball Coaches.
Clearly, Darrett’s scored when it comes to talent.
But, those who work closely with her say despite all that she’s accomplished, the 18-year-old is incredibly humble.
Michael Chessnoe is Darrett’s yearbook and digital design teacher.
“She has all these talents, and she’s not screaming them out to everybody,” he tells FOX 4.
No, she’s not.
Even while FOX 4 Weekend Anchor Shari Armstrong interviewed Darrett, she barely spoke about her accomplishments.
Instead, she chose to talk about her team and her family.
While thinking about their impact on their life and considering life without them, she pauses.
“I don’t think I would be the person that I am today.”
Darrett didn’t hesitate to talk about her 3 big brothers, whom she describes as “overprotective”.
Each brother also excels in basketball, but she says their impact goes beyond the court.
“With my father not being in my life like that, they’ve just taught me to not lower my standards.”
When it comes to the person in her life who has set the highest standard in life, Darrett says it’s her coach - who also happens to be her mom, Latanya Jones.
“All the stuff that she’s done for us and how far we are…I just really look up to her. Like she did it all by herself.”
Senior year looks different than Darrett imagined, but she’s planning to stitch together a career full of creativity. She aspires to become a clothing designer.
Where she will be in the fall is yet to be determined. She’s been accepted into Florida International University’s Bridge Program, but she’s still finalizing her plans.
One thing is certain. No matter where she ends up, there’s a family and a high school program cheering for her along the way, including Mr. Chessnoe.
“I appreciate your quiet humility and I know they will take you far.”