January 14, 2005

Jimenez Selected to Optimists All-Tournament Team

By John Philip Wyllie

Bonita Vista High School sophomore Sasha Jimenez was born into a family that both appreciates its Mexican heritage and loves basketball. Throughout elementary school and junior high Jimenez split her time between folklorico dancing and shooting hoops. Once she enrolled in high school however, Jimenez realized that balancing her schoolwork with ballet folk-lorico and competitive varsity basketball might be too much to juggle. So, she opted to hang up her dress and narrow her focus to hitting the books and playing basketball. Her 3.6 G.P.A. attests to her academic success and her recent selection to the Girls Basketball Optimists All-Tournament Team indicates that she also knows her way around a basketball court.

“Sasha is one of our better shooters and our three-point specialist,” said Baron first year coach, Wayne Wooten. “We expect a lot out of her. We use her as our two-guard most of the time, but we also use her as our point guard and sometimes as a forward. Maybe before the year is out and definitely by next year she should develop into one of the best three-point shooters in the county. She is very consistent, plays good defense and she is also a good student. Sasha is everything you would want in a player,” Wooten added.

With a father and three older brothers that played high school basketball, Jimenez practically grew up with a basketball in her crib.

“I can remember being in second or third grade and watching my brothers practice,” Jimenez recalled. “My Dad was coaching at the time and I always wanted to get on the court with them.” Being around it constantly, she got plenty of opportunity and it wasn’t long before they realized that she too was a natural athlete.

“Basketball is my favorite sport. When I have a bad day, I can get out on the court and forget all my problems. When I am having a good day playing basketball just makes it all that much better. I just love playing.”

Last year, Jimenez was the only freshman on Bonita’s varsity team. This year, she has developed into one of the Barons strongest players. She was thrilled when she heard that she had joined teammates Keri Elkins and Alyssa Factuar on the Optimist’s All-Tournament Team. More important to her however, is how the team will do in league competition.

“We are 8-6 so far this season and we have played against some very tough teams,” said Wooten. “Our biggest rival is Eastlake, but I think we will be good enough to challenge them for the Mesa League Championship.” Jimenez will no doubt play a major role in that challenge. It won’t be easy, but she will be bolstered by the support of her parents and family.

“My parents are very supportive and that is a great thing. They show up at all of my games and they are behind me 100%.”

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