Karly Green signs the National Anthem

At the winning varsity boys basketball game, on Tuesday, Jan. 14, sophomore Karly Green was given a unique opportunity. Green was asked to sign the national anthem in front of roaring basketball fans. Green practices American Sign Language (ASL) which is the most common form of sign language in America.

Green first became involved with sign language through bible school in the fifth grade and has been in love with it ever since. Through Green’s bible school, she was given the opportunity to participate in a miming class which taught two songs. One song being “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. After perfecting the song, Green was hooked and began practicing more and more.

“Sign language is not hard if you have the need or want to do it, but learning bits and pieces by yourself is kind of hard,” Green said.

Since Green has been practicing sign language for nearly six years, she has been given many opportunities to showcase her talent. Green has translated at events such as community thanksgivings and funerals. She continuously finds joy in helping others at these events.

“My favorite thing about sign language is that I can talk to other people,” Green said. “People that I never thought that I would be able to talk to before.”

Although nerve wracking, Green was excited to translate at the basketball game. Green said that the “land of the free” phrase in the national anthem is a hard sign and she had been working on perfecting that particular phrase hours leading up to the event. Green was supported by friends and family at the game who encouraged her minutes leading up to the event.

“I thought it was really awesome for her to do what she did,” sophomore Georgia Garcia said. “She’s put her whole heart into learning ASL and I’m proud that it’s coming in handy for her and that she can show everyone her awesome skills.”

Green hopes to continue practicing sign language and dreams to become a translator as her future career choice. To become a translator, Green plans on attending the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, which has one of the most top notch signing classes.

“I like the act of sign language and it has opened a lot of doors for me,” Green said. “Knowing that I can communicate with other people who are deaf or hard of hearing I just feel more alive.”