Often in life people realize that they need a change of scenery to be their best self.
Such was the case for sophomore basketball player August “Augie” Palmer, who decided to transfer from West Branch to Iowa City High this year.
“Things just weren’t going well at West Branch,” Palmer said. “I thought it would be a better idea to try and go to a different school that felt like a better place for me. City High made me feel very welcome.”
Like Palmer, the Little Hawks embarked on a new chapter this season.
From assistant Lynsey Barnard’s promotion to the head coaching position to the loss of 12 players from last year’s roster, questions remain about exactly what the normally powerful Little Hawks will look like this year.
The unpredictability was not an issue for Palmer.
“I wasn’t looking for a team that had a lot of potential,” Palmer said. “I was just looking for a team that would accept me for me.”
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So who exactly is August Palmer?
“I would say I’m a positive and confident person,” Palmer said. “I bring a lot of energy to the pitch. When I’m out there, I’m very determined and tough.”
Palmer and Barnard previously met through their stints on All Iowa Attack, a club basketball team that includes some of the state’s best players. However, the two were not close and had not begun to speak frequently until Palmer’s transfer.
In fact, Barnard said it was the Little Hawks’ returning players that proved more of a selling point for the sophomore year.
“If we’re being honest, it’s more up to the girls than us coaches to be comfortable here,” Barnard said. “Our returnees have done a phenomenal job bringing all our new players on board. We were pretty tight as a team last year so it was fun doing it again with all these new people.”
Although drills have only just begun, expectations are high for the impact Palmer will have on her new team.
Last season, she led West Branch in points (326) while shooting 38.3% from the field and 32.3% from the 3-point line. She also had 132 rebounds, 51 assists, 52 steals and 14 blocks.
Barnard is well aware of Palmer’s caliber and said she has high hopes for what she will achieve this year.
“She’ll do a little bit of everything for us,” Barnard said. “She’s also going to do those intangible things, like being a leader. If you think about it, we lost 12 players last season so there are a lot of places to fill. Everyone is talking about how we lost so many points, but we know Augie will score. She will also bounce, handle the ball and bring experience that cannot be measured.”
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The aforementioned changing of the guard at City High didn’t escape the notice of Palmer, who heard the team’s doubters loud and clear.
Just a few weeks before regular-season games begin, she said she and her teammates were determined to prove them wrong.
“I know not a lot of people are going to have faith in us because a lot of seniors left from last year,” Palmer said. “So as a team, I just want to prove that we’re City High and we’re going to make a difference.”