HERMLEIGH, Texas — For most high school athletes, their dream is to play at the collegiate level. Hermleigh senior, Makia Gonzales, is making that dream come true not too far from home at Hardin-Simmons.

"I think she's only going to get better. She has only scratched her potential of playing. For her to go play in college with the best of the best will raise her level," Hermleigh head coach Duane Hopper said.

Coach Hopper who was also a student-athlete at Hardin-Simmons, was a huge reason Gonzales wanted to continue her basketball career.

"He's helped me a lot in basketball. I've seen how much better I've gotten so I want to go play because I don't want it to end in high school," Gonzales said.

Not only was she a stand out player, she was Coach Hopper's right hand on the court.

"I was getting to coach her and she would give me feedback. It's great when your best player is sort of a mini coach on the court for you," Hopper added.

With only being one hour from home, Hardin-Simmons was the perfect fit.

"I love everything about [Hardin-Simmons], we are all going to get along and we're going to be a good basketball program," Gonzales added.

Coach has no doubt she is going to continue to improve at the next level.

"I know she's going to go in there and get after it, she will be real successful. She's my own so I'm going to brag on her," Hopped said.