Being Bettendorf’s first-team all-MAC selection and leading scorer is not what earned Lillie Peterson her idol status around the school. It’s what she’s done off the court with the National Honor Society and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

“She’s just an idol that people look up to and say I want to be more like her”

Brooke Magistrelli, Bettendorf senior on teammate Lillie Peterson

“As I became an upper classman, I started to realize there is more to our school and our community in Bettendorf than just go to school, go to practice,” Peterson said.

With the FCCLA, Peterson has done a long list of tasks to help the school, like decorate the hallways for Valentine’s Day. For the NHS, it’s completing service hours and helping with youth basketball camps.

“It’s just that enjoyment of seeing what you used to be like as a kid and see where you’re at now. It’s just rewarding,” Peterson said.

A rewarding experience, and because of it many of the kids who are involved always want a picture alongside Lillie afterwards.

“I think they just see how much I enjoy basketball same as they do. Also when they ask me to take pictures and sign their posters, it makes me feel like what I’m doing is suppose to be what I’m doing where I’m a role model for the Bettendorf kids and all young kids in general.” Peterson said.

Not only has being that role model rubbed off on the Bettendorf youth but her teammates as well.

“Off the court her being able to make connections with our players allows our players to trust her on the court and were able to really work as a unit and play as one,” senior Brooke Magistrelli said. “She has a great personality and makes everyone feel included then on the court were able to channel that energy into focus and I think that’s one of her greatest qualities.”

Making those connections has helped Peterson understand the greater purpose for all the work she’s done.

“Just knowing all these people helps me through the friendships I’ve made and coming here everyday knowing I’m a captain. I’m a leader,” Peterson said. “I have to be here for all these players and that’s my role that I play.”

Next order of business for Peterson is leading her team to victory Saturday against Linn-Mar in the Class 5A region 6 semifinal.