“Keep going, stay focused:” On and off the court, Rufus King basketball players form dynamic duo

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MILWAUKEE -- Two Rufus King High School basketball players are making a difference on and off the court -- and they already understand that the greatest impact they can make goes Beyond the Game.rufus-king-hs2

She's just a monster," said Kaye Clark. "She was so aggressive on the court."

That was Kaye Clark's first impression when she first saw Sydnee Roby play basketball.

"We met in the 5th grade when we were playing at the Boys and Girls Club. And so her AAU coach came up to me, and he was like 'I need you on my team!' And I'm just like, 'OK!' And then it was just hard work and dedication from there," said Sydnee.

Sydnee Roby

Sydnee Roby

Today, 6'3" Sydnee Roby and Kaye Clark, her feisty running mate and guard, sparked a splendid sophomore class that has helped the 10-0, Generals-ranked 3rd in the state. Get this, Sydnee and Kaye were offered scholarships to Michigan State in the seventh grade!

"Sydnee has the potential to be one of the best, or the best big in probably the state's history," said King Head Coach Craig Machut.

Praise, even scholarship offers in the seventh grade won't prevent the dynamic duo from keeping it all in perspective.

"I try not to take things as serious as they really are. So even though getting a college scholarship offer to a big university is a big deal, I try not to think of it that way. I feel like you can't let everything go to your head," said Sydnee.rufus-king-hs3

"We don't think of it as a big thing; I just take it like, OK another accomplishment, keep going, stay focused, do what you got to do," said Kaye.

So how do these gifted young women, Kaye's 16, Sydnee's 15, who are high flyers on the court stay grounded off it? By not taking themselves too seriously -- especially Sydnee.rufus-king-hs5

In fact...

"She's a goofball, and part of coaching Sydnee is understanding that she's fun. She's fun to be around; she's silly. She likes to be a kid. She likes to be a high schooler," said Coach Machut.

Coach Craig Machut

Coach Craig Machut

"Well I'm a goofball because that's my personality. I love being funny. I mean, I can be serious and I can hold a serious conversation. But that's just my personality. I'm bubbly. There's not ever really a moment when you see me dull. I love to dance, the whole way down the hallway I'm just dancing, and everybody's like, 'Syd, what you dancing to?' And I'm like, 'the music in my head,'" said Sydnee.

Coach Machut calls Sydnee "Shaq," as in Shaquille O'Neal; because of the goofball label. And Kaye is Kobe, after Kobe Bryant -- the big man's more intense Lakers teammate back in the day.rufus-king-hs4

Sydnee and Kaye -- Kobe and Shaq -- while the scholarships keep coming their way, this dynamic duo stays focused on trying to make a difference on and off the court.

Kaye Clark

Kaye Clark

"In the city of Milwaukee, there's a lot of things going on but I happen to manage to get over it and be a leader," said Kaye.

"It's a greater responsibility to have the weight on my shoulders that I have to be the best person I can be. Not only just for me but for other people that are looking at me saying, 'What's Syd doing? What would Sydnee do,'" said Sydnee.