Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

February 28, 2013

Neeley sisters inspire coaches, teammates as Christian role models

Greentown — For most people, a New Year’s resolution is usually some variation of a proclamation to live a better, healthier, more virtuous life.

Studies have shown that less than 10 percent of people will make good on that resolution for a full 365 days.

Eastern seniors Brittany and Bethany Neeley aren’t like most people.

At the start of 2012, the three-sport-athlete twin sisters made it their mission to read the Bible cover to cover in one calendar year. They mapped out a course that allowed them to read a portion of the Bible and then study that portion, reading the final portion of the scripture on Dec. 31, seeing the resolution through to the very final day of the calendar year.

Just another testament to the character and perseverance of a pair of girls who’ve left a deep, lasting impression on their community.

“That’s dedication. That’s, to the core, a dedication to faith,” Eastern girls basketball coach Jeremy Dexter said. “They do a great job of making every decision they make through morals and values and faith. It really has trickled down, even to me. From my perspective, it’s pushed me.”

At a young age, the deeply devout sisters were dealt circumstances that would’ve left no one surprised had they strayed from the righteous path.

Their dad, Brian Neeley, died when they were just 7 years old, leaving them to live the vast majority of their lives without the guidance of a true father figure.

Yet, the duo shows no bitterness for the adversity handed to them long before they were ever able to understand the magnitude of it, choosing instead to be thankful for the multitude of blessings bestowed upon them.

“It doesn’t even faze us,” Bethany said. “Without God, our lives wouldn’t be like this. We could be really bitter and upset about things, but we just try to enjoy every day like it might be our last.”

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