Payton Acey: An “ace” of a two-sport athlete

By Jacob Pratt

Any athlete will tell you how hard they work to perfect their craft, but to try to do that in two sports, let alone two sports whose seasons occur back-to-back, is one heck of a job. But for Southwestern High School senior Payton Acey, that has just been par for the course for her high school athletic career.

Acey, a University of the Cumberlands commit for basketball, has spent her high school days not only dominating on the basketball court, but flying high on the volleyball court as well. In a way, Acey claims that by participating in both sports, it gets her athletically ready for both.

“Volleyball keeps me well conditioned for basketball due to my past coaches making us run a ton to stay in shape, even though you don’t get the same running up the court and back motion that basketball gives you,” she explained.

The volleyball career of Acey ended earlier this year with Southwestern bowing out in the 12th Region Semifinals, but she claims that gives her a ton of motivation to end her high school basketball career on top.

“I feel like the end for volleyball will motivate me throughout this basketball season, as I know how bad I felt at the end of that season. I’m hoping we get to end this season at Rupp,” she stated.

The life of a two-sport athlete is extremely busy, and Acey explained that having support from both her parents has been key.

“The past years have been really difficult, even though now I have an internship at Memorial Education Center that sees me only going to school for part of the day. It was hard to make time for my personal life, but I’m fortunate enough to have both parents that come to every single one of my games making it where I see them more,” she described.

The senior has been described numerous times locally as a walking double-double, with her averages through five games this basketball season sitting at 10.8 points and 4 rebounds per game, but she will also be remembered for her greatness on the volleyball court, as she was named to the 2023 Commonwealth Journal All-County Team. Acey had some solid advice for other dual-sport athletes, stating that they should always shoot to do their very best.

“The goal is always the same, be the best you can while also learning to become better in the sports you play. Always push yourself to give it your all, because you never know when that last game, practice or anything for that one sport may come. Never over stress yourself and always prioritize your time,” she explained.

A legend around the Lake Cumberland area, expect big things in the future for Acey as she continues one career into the collegiate level. Even though she will only be a one sport athlete then, she will still be an ‘ace’ of a person.

By Alyx

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