River Romine of the Weatherford College Lady Coyotes basketball team thought she knew her career path.
Then she looked into the eyes of youngsters with the same dreams she had at that age.
"I always thought I wanted to be a vet, but lately I'm thinking more a coach," said the 5-foot-7 freshman guard from Bowie. "I think about when I get older I want to stay around basketball, and I like working with young people."
In particular, she said she has enjoyed working summer camps at her high school. She has also helped Coach Carlos Ratliff with his elite West Texas Basketball Academy.
"I love how the littlest ones would come in ready to play," River said. "The older athletes could get a reminder of how they were at that age. It reminded me of when I was little and would go to camps.
"Youngsters look up to us just like I looked up to the older players."
And now, playing for the Lady Coyotes and head coach Bob McKinley, himself a Bowie native, River said she has that youthful feeling again.
"I was kind of scared at first, a little nervous, but now it's exciting," she said. "I get excited about practice."
River's middle name is Montana. She was given it after her father thought of it while fishing in a river in that state.
And she nearly went up north, though not that far, to start her college career. She originally had a full scholarship to play for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. However, River said that while it's pretty up there, family reasons kept her in Texas.
Also, there was something about Weatherford she couldn't get out of her mind. McKinley attended her first district game against Boyd one season and River never forgot. So she called him up.
"He'd been trying to get me to come here, so I called and asked if he still that spot for me," she said.
He did, and she came onboard.
"River's a hard worker and sets a good example," McKinley said. "She's the kind of player you want on your team because you know she's always going to give everything she has."
Upon first recruiting River, McKinley said of her, "She's one of those kids who takes about 500 shots a day. She can shoot lights-out."
She's also a runner with lots of stamina. In addition to helping the Lady Jackrabbits win district four straight years, she ran cross country, garnering academic All-State honors in both sports.
"Our coach made us run cross country for basketball," she said.
After her time at Weatherford College is done, River is considering heading to Durango after all. But she's in no hurry, with all due respect to Colorado.
"I still like Fort Lewis a lot, and I still talk to that coach, but it was good for me to come here first," she said. "I love it here."