Jiao vows to reach the top

Senior Amaya Jiao didn’t originally imagine herself to be playing basketball so late in her life. With the thought of music and martial arts, basketball was the least of her priorities. These thoughts roamed her mind but after all those years, Jiao established herself to be a determined and unyielding basketball player.

A late start to her basketball career didn’t mean giving up; Jiao is determined to win against her competitors. It took a great deal of dedication and work to get her to where she is today. 

“Not too long ago, I was the un-athletic five-foot-six Asian American kid who wanted to play college basketball with a strong work ethic and no idea if it was possible, but I knew I was going to try,” noted Jiao.

“Amaya is an amazing, kind, and loving person. She’s an amazing leader and a great example on and off the court,” commented teammate and sophomore Naomi Chew. The support that Jiao brings to the team is never overlooked and with her strong-willed mindset, Jiao has brought her team a long way. 

Before basketball, Jiao practiced mixed martial arts for eight years. Jiao stated that with basketball, she saw a future and it was something she could make her life out of. Putting her best foot forward, Jiao stepped into the sport and put her whole heart into it. 

This season marked Jiao’s fourth year on the CVHS girls varsity basketball team, and her sixth year playing on a team overall. Throughout her basketball career in middle school [seventh and eighth grade] she “rode the bench,” but it was a stepping stone for who she would grow to become in the following years. 

  “I worked really hard coming into high school and then I made varsity as a freshman. Although I sat on the bench again, I understood why. When Covid happened, I took advantage of that to try to get better than my competition, then we came back to school and that was when I really started pushing to play college basketball,” said Jiao. 

With a true passion for basketball, Jiao continues to improve and play a big role in the Trojan basketball records. With a few offers from colleges and some still rolling in, Jiao has a bright future ahead. 

Jiao signed off by saying, “Next season I’ll be in a college jersey. If you want to do or achieve something and the odds are against you, do it anyway. The regret of not doing something that might last forever is much worse than the feeling of doing and not achieving. Go dream and chase.”

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