Ocean Ivory Breeze Bland WOOD RIVER - East Alton-Wood River High senior Ocean Ivory Breeze Bland has a complete passion for the sport of basketball and has played since she was in fourth grade. Ocean says she loves the feeling and rush of the game, even whenever they lose.

"I never think less of the sport, win or lose, because I have so much love for it," she said.

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Ocean is a Midwest Members Credit Union Female Athlete Of The Month for the Oilers.

She thanked her dad, Kenny Simmons, for getting her into sports at a young age.

"I have come a long way and enjoyed all the sports that I have played," she said.

She thanked her mom for being her No. 1 supporter and said she always has had her back and cheered her on. She said her grandma is another one of her No. 1 supporters.

"I always love seeing my grandma at my games and her telling me how proud she is of me," Ocean said.

Athlete of the Month is sponsored by

EA-WR head girls coach Lynsey Perez has also had a big influence on her basketball progress, Ocean said.

"She has helped me get better through my years and always encouraged me," she added.

Ocean believes her hard work and long hours have helped her be accomplished in multiple sports.

"I feel being active in sports has helped me mature," she said. "I have had to learn that sometimes you have to have a defeat and then move on and never give up. There is always a second chance if you believe in something and truly love it."

She said she wants to play basketball in college, but she is not sure where she is going yet. Ocean said she is interested in studying business and obtaining a bachelor's degree in college.

Ocean has played outfield in softball, is a defensive specialist in soccer, has been a hitter in volleyball and has also participated in tennis and track.

Again, congratulations to Ocean for her recognition as a Midwest Members Credit Union Female Athlete of the Month.

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