She's been the head of women's basketball at Mercer University since 2010 and coached for more than 25 years, but now Susie Gardner is taking on a new job as an author.
Claire Davis spent the day at Five Star Stadium to learn more about 1, 2, 3 Team!
Mercer women's basketball coach Susie Gardner is changing things up.
“I'm trying to get a message to children that maybe otherwise wouldn't have a book. Hopefully, it's a fun book to read, hopefully it's a fun book to listen to,” said Gardner.
It's called 1, 2, 3 Team! and she's been writing and perfecting it for more than a year.
“We inherit athletes that are 'adults' and they haven't always learned life lessons," said Gardner. "If we can teach the life lesson, maybe at an earlier age, that was kind of the goal."
Zoe is the main character in the book.
“She thinks she's the best player on the team and she might be, but then the coach teaches her a very, very important life lesson. In the end, Zoe figures it out that she needs her teammates,” said Gardner.
Gardner says she hopes the book is interactive for kids.
“Throughout the course of the book, we yell '1, 2, 3' and the children are allowed to yell 'team' as loud as they can even if they're in a school library," said Gardner. "It's been a lot of fun going to the elementary schools and reading to them."
Gardner says she wants children to take away the importance of working together.
“Whether or not they're on the athletic team, or as I tell them in their family or in their classroom, when there's a group of people that's kind of like a team, you have to work together. You have to share, you have to maybe do things you don't want to do and you have to understand that even if you may be the best player, you need everybody else to help you reach your goals,” said Gardner.
Something she says her team does, every day.
Gardner is hosting a book reading and signing of 1, 2, 3 Team! on Saturday, August 27, from 1-4 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in the Shoppes at River Crossing.