Mullhall-Orlando’s Sam Pangburn – Character Counts Presented by Central Electric Cooperative

By John Tranchina

Sam Pangburn takes her role as a team leader for Mulhall-Orlando’s basketball team so seriously, she has even agreed to play a different sport in the spring. That may seem like a convoluted statement, but the reality is that the senior has become so close to her younger teammates that she allowed them to convince her to try playing slowpitch softball later in the school year.

“The underclassmen, mainly the freshmen, they’re like my children and they want to play my last season available with me,” Pangburn said. “After three months (of recruiting), I gave in.”

Pangburn enjoys her role as a team leader and the relationships it has allowed her to cultivate. “I’ve kind of had to step up from before,” said Pangburn.

“I help the underclassmen with understanding plays. If they’re gone, I catch them up on the plays we’ve learned, I help them with some moves that they don’t know how to do, so I’ll help break it down for them, a lot of stuff like that. Helping people kind of comes naturally.”

Pangburn is optimistic that despite a couple of key contributors from last season graduating, that the Panthers can at least match the performance of the 2018-19 squad that went 17-10 and reached the Class B regional playoffs. 

“We lost two major assets to our team this past year, but I’m thinking we are able to replace them pretty well,” Pangburn said. “We’re working together as a team so far, so I’m hoping we go far.”

To assist that process, Pangburn has been working hard on her own game, involving her younger teammates in drills to help her improve.

“I personally have been trying to get better at shooting the ball,” she said. “I’m better at defense than I am at offense, so I’m trying to get better with handling the ball. I’ll have some of the underclassmen guard me while I’m trying to drive towards the goal, or while I’m trying to jump, stop and shoot and they’ll block me.”

Pangburn still isn’t sure of her plans for next year, but she does know it will continue the path she’s already started during her time in the nursing program at Meridian Technology, where she is a member of HOSA (Future Health Professionals of America).

“I want to get into a nursing school and get my LPN and then I can pursue getting my RN,” Pangburn said. “I want to try to become an ER RN.”