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Uwharrie Charter's Chloe Painter spikes home a point against Wheatmore.    Eric Abernethy/Randolph Hub

Volleyballer helping UCA on basketball court, too

ASHEBORO — Finding ways to better the high school sports teams they participate with is the goal of most every high school student-athlete. Every athlete hopes to make a mark in their sport and leave the program in a better place.


Chloe Painter is doing just that.


While her collegiate future is in volleyball, as she will head to UNC-Pembroke in the fall, she is presently helping the Eagles varsity basketball team to a second straight winning season.


While handling point guard duties and rarely taking a break, she is averaging about five points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks per game. All while using her quickness, length and strong anticipation skills in providing stellar defense.


“She has never really grasped her basketball ability,” UCA basketball coach Austin Davis said. “She has always considered herself to be a volleyball player who happens to be playing basketball. 


“The growth she has shown in our program is unbelievable. Her attitude and leadership have been incredible and that’s what we needed with a young team.”


Painter is the only returning senior on a team that was 11-7 heading into action this week. The Eagles were 4-3 after a 55-44 win over Providence Grove on Friday.


In a December game against that same Providence Grove team, Painter scored 11 points in the first quarter, 22 in the game and nailed four 3-pointers. She definitely has the ability to score,


“What she gives us from a basketball IQ standpoint is incredible and her leadership is getting better,” Davis said. “She is verbally challenging her teammates and herself to get better. She gives us a sense of calm when she’s on the floor.”


Painter has faced plenty of adversity. She played just 10 games last year before leaving the team for academic reasons. The way she worked in the classroom and on the court, participated in every practice and was always there for her teammates left a lasting impression on Davis.


“I have a lot of respect for the work she put in,” Davis said. “That was an opportunity for her to get out or be done with basketball, but for her to stick with it like she has and what she has done in the off season to get better is really impressive.”


Painter said there was never a question in what she was going to do.


“I’ve always told myself whether you're hurt or sick, to always be there for your team,” Painter said. “Just because of your consequences, you don’t quit on your team who you are committed to.


“Last year helped me a lot. I was able to talk to a lot of people and see how to improve in a lot of areas.”


The Eagles have won 42 basketball games the past three years with still plenty of time to add to that total. Her volleyball teams have a combined 65-23 record, including 32-12 in league action. The Eagles advanced to the third round of the state 1-A playoffs this past season.


“You're always trying to build each year for the program,” Painter said. “Showing dedication will show younger girls in the program how much they can improve and how much the program can improve by just one person.”


While she started playing basketball in seventh grade strictly “for fun,” it wasn’t long before her feelings for the sport changed.


“It is a sport I have grown to love,” she said.


And the basketball program at UCA is far better because of it.