Sruthi Dacherla Shoots for the Sky Before she Bids Farewell to The Rock

As Sruthi Dacherla wraps up her record-breaking high school basketball career, and her time as a highly involved academic student, she reflects on a variety of her accomplishments as she prepares to move onto the next chapter.


Amelia Chen

As a junior, Sruthi Dacherla made the Dulles-District Second Team for Girls Varsity Basketball. Before her senior season ends, Dacherla has goals to end her time on the court in high school with a bang. “My personal goal this year is to get my name on the record board and to make the All-District and All-Region teams before I end my career,” Dacherla said.

Kamille Simon and Alyssa Yoon

As she dribbles down the gravel court, she encounters a giant shadow, towering three feet over her head. She doesn’t let it distract her, making a flat switch around her opponent as she shoots — and scores! Sruthi Dacherla is the queen of her home court. But, Dacherla is not a ten year-old beginner anymore, playing an NBA-adjacent game with her father. She’s the star of her school’s team.

Senior Sruthi Dacherla is a prime example of someone who can enjoy the best of both worlds. Dacherla is a heavily involved student at Rock Ridge High School, participating in the school’s athletics and honor societies, while also being an upstanding member of her community. As a strong leader in many different environments, Dacherla continues to display her well-roundedness as a young adult.
Throughout high school, Dacherla has been an active member of the athletic department, not only participating in basketball and lacrosse during the winter/spring seasons, but also being an Athletic Training Student Aide (ATSA) during the fall season. She has dedicated the same amount of passion for all three of these activities, but has a soft spot for basketball. “I started playing basketball when I was five years old,” Dacherla said. “I grew up in an athletic family, so watching my cousins play and watching my dad play sparked my interest throughout my entire childhood.” 

Dacherla has enjoyed her time on the Rock Ridge Girls Varsity Basketball team. Not only has she spent all four years of her high school career playing the sport she loves, but also she has also gotten to test her leadership skills. Dacherla was elected captain of the team for both her junior and senior years. According to her teammates, the team would be broken and incomplete without her guidance. Teammate and senior Yakeen Alzarough has been playing on this team with Dacherla for two years. “Sruthi is an outstanding captain,” Alzarough said. “On and off the floor, she supports the team and always looks to set everyone up for success.”  

Since Dacherla has been playing basketball for years, she has been able to teach newer players like Alzarough basic skills, so that they can become a valuable contributor to the team. “Sruthi taught me what the game of basketball is,” Alzarough said. Playing for an underdog school (last season ended with a record of 3-20) comes with frustration, but under Dacherla’s leadership, the team is motivated. “Sruthi’s greatest strengths as a leader include her ability to remain calm in high stress situations,” Alzarough said. “Instead of expressing frustration and yelling at the team, she chooses to engage us in team conversation, giving everyone the fair chance to speak up. Her leadership as the captain comes naturally, and as a remarkable basketball player. She always sets an example for the rest of us.” 

Despite the achievements Dacherla has made throughout her basketball career, the athlete has decided not to continue to play collegiate basketball. Dacherla plans to keep her relationship with basketball alive by continuing to play for leisure. “I have been playing travel for over five years now, so I wanted to play high school to finish out my career, but I still want to play beyond the end of this season,” Dacherla said. 

Dacherla’s accomplishments and aspirations don’t go unnoticed. Many of her peers are everyday witnesses of her success. Senior Akshara Somu is closely connected to Dacherla through various extracurriculars. Dacherla and Somu met in eighth grade PE at Stone Hill Middle School. Their friendship then carried on into high school and strengthened through forming  their nonprofit organization, NOVA Allies. 

NOVA Allies was founded to serve communities that are often neglected. This demographic encompasses individuals such as senior citizens living in care centers, people being treated for mental health in isolated facilities, and children in foster care. Both Dacherla and Somu serve these communities by collecting funds and donations through fundraisers and drives. “We started [NOVA Allies] to help people who had a lack of family support,” Somu said. 

During her time in the ATSA program, Dacherla has stepped in to advocate for her fellow athletic training student assistants, including Somu herself. “During ATSA, I am a lot more mellow, and a lot more quiet,” Somu said. “If someone doesn’t take me seriously and doesn’t listen to what I say, [Sruthi says] ‘you heard what she said.’” Sruthi’s efforts ensure that her peers are valued and listened to. “She always helps to keep everyone in check,” Somu said. The pair both also participate together in National Honors Society (NHS), with Dacherla serving as Vice President and Somu as President. 

Dacherla is very proud of her scholarly and athletic accolades. “I think my achievements for Rock Ridge High School athletics are what I am most proud of,” Dacherla said. “I am happy with my time on the Rock Ridge Varsity Girls Basketball and my academic and extracurricular accomplishments.”

Dacherla plans on attending college to study Pre-Med with a minor in Business at the University of Virginia.