By Kym Chandler
Her former coach describes her as “having dedication like no other.” Her demeanor suggests a maturity well beyond her 22 years. Her accomplishments foretell a remarkable future and yet, she remains humble, focused and grounded.
It all began in Southwest DC where Tantania grew up watching Denise Brown, her mother, balance home, work and volunteering. By the time she was 7 years old, she excelled in basketball and maintained good grades in school. Her exceptional athleticism and leadership rapidly caught the attention of Coach Skip Greene at the King Greenleaf Recreation Center.
He praises Tantania as a natural “extension of the coach” since she perceives what skills need to be developed in herself as well as her teammates. She’s top among female players and still gives the guys a run for their money on the court. This preternatualtalent is used to uplift, rather than diminish her fellow players.
She continued her path of academic success from high school into college, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Elizabeth City State University, with a desire to help those in the mass incarceration system. Her ultimate goal is to be a community activist and give back to society—perhaps in the political realm.
What’s the secret to balancing academics and athletics? “Discipline is everything,” Brown says, applying lessons learned on the court to real life situations. This, of course, requires personal insight, which everyone doesn’t have. “I don’t do all the right things,” she humbly observes, so she always takes time to reflect on the idea of continuing to improve both mentally and physically.
Favorite Movie: “Cabin Fever” (Horror is her favorite genre)
Favorite Music: Rap/Hip Hop and D.C.’s Go Go
Favorite Snack: Munchies and cool, clean water
Favorite D.C. Spot: Southwest, especially if there’s basketball
Favorite Motto: “Work on yourself on and off the court.”
What’s next for this Southwest DC native? The short-term is to find employment, perhaps an entry-level administrative position in the correctional system. Although she’s willing to go anywhere the opportunities are, she’d like to see herself improving the community she grew up in—the sky’s the limit as long as the opportunity presents itself. Tantania is ready to bring the talent, perseverance…and the game!
Tantania is 1 of 5 of the SWNA Scholarship Fund recipients to graduate in 2019. She
received scholarships the whole four years she was in college from the SWNA Education and Scholarship Task Force. She was also one of the first recipients of the newly established Stadium District Scholarships Fund in 2019 for residents of Southwest DC ANC SMD 6D06.