By: Adam Kolb/ Co-Sports Editor
Naomi Waithira is a soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Hutchinson Community College.
Waithira grew up in Nyrobi, Kenya, and has been playing soccer since she was 9-years old. She went to high school at Machakos Girls Academy. It was frustrating for her playing soccer in Kenya, because some are not a fan of females playing sports, despite the fact that there were pretty good teams in Kenya.
“I was almost done playing soccer,” Waithira said, “but now I feel like it’s just the beginning.” She moved to Norway at 15-years old, and also played in the Netherlands.
She has shown a lot of improvement since her freshman year. According to Blue Dragons head coach Sammy Lane, Naomi dedicated herself during the summer and has improved a lot. She has a goal in two assists through four games for the Blue Dragons.
She has been playing with an ankle injury so far in this young season. In her first game of the season against Redlands Community College, she was playing at about 60%, but you wouldn’t know that by watching her.
“Even at 60%, she’s better than everyone, including the players on the other team”, Lane said. Not only is Waithira changing on the field, she’s changing off the field as well. In her first year, Waithira was shy and not especially outgoing. Now in her second year, she is one of the leaders on the team, and she likes to joke around with her teammates.
She’s changed so much that her teammates don’t even recognize her at times.
“I didn’t even know she could talk,” Lane said with a smile.
Now, Waithira is regarded as one of the top players in the conference. Her selflessness is one of her greatest traits as a player, and that is what her coach has praised her about the most.
The transformation for Waithira on and off the field has been amazing. It wasn’t always easy, going from a small village in Kenya, to playing soccer and attending a community college in Kansas.
Not only that, but being able to play as well as she has and get offers from multiple four-year schools
Even in Waithira’s young career at HutchCC, it’s clear that she will be a big part of the success for the Blue Dragons this season.