MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Micaella Riche sets her goals high. She's a 6-foot-3 center who averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game last season for the University of Minnesota women's basketball team.
"There's this feeling and passion that you get just when you score a basket," said Riche.
While girls are twice as likely as boys to drop out of sports by the age of thirteen, life is still dribbling and drills for Riche.
"Wanting to be the best, at the end of the day, that's what I want," she explained.
"We have record numbers of girls participating in sports at every level," said Nicole Lavoi, who studies girls and sports at the University of Minnesota.
In 1972, one in 27 girls played high school sports and now it's one in three. Still, women face more hurdles before reaching equality. Girls see female athletes on television less than two percent of the time. Lavoi said that in thirty years of Sports Illustrated, females appeared on less than four percent of their covers.
"So what does that tell young girls? My athleticism isn't as valued as my male counterpart's," she explained.
New reports show 82 percent of women executives played organized sports after elementary school, and 60 percent said it gave them a competitive edge over others in the business world. Athletes not only learn to compete, but they also learn to build work ethic, the ability to handle pressure, build teamwork, and confidence.
Recent studies out of Fortune magazine shows that when it comes to men and women: 95 percent of Fortune 500 executives participated in high school athletics.
As for Riche, she's learned the value of playing sports and she's well positioned to succeed; both on and off the court.
Copyright 2013 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News and News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.