Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is basketball standout Jzaniya Harriel from Antelope High School in California.

Ranked 14th overall at her position, Jzaniya is a talented point guard with big goals for her future and the work ethic to achieve them. The Stanford commit has a list of accolades that prove just how much hard work can pay off: Sacramento Area (Sac Bee Newspaper) Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, three-year varsity starter, League MVP in 2018, 2019, and 2020, over 2,000 career points as a junior, and a full-ride scholarship to the college of her dreams – just to name a few.

“It’s very clear that Jzaniya is someone that is passionate about the sport of basketball. Every time I call her, she’s in the gym. We love her speed and athletic scoring ability and also believe she has what it takes to be a top defender.” – Tara VanDerveer, The Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Stanford University (source: Stanford Athletics)

Jzaniya doesn’t just push herself on the court. In the classroom she’s earned a 4.4 GPA while balancing 11 Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She’s set to graduate 9th in her class and has dreams of one day attending law school and becoming a judge.

“Jzaniya is constantly under extreme pressure and she always presents herself with calm and puts her team first. She only knows competition and hard work, growing up with seven competitive siblings, and this has been the foundation to her 4.4 gpa and numerous basketball accolades.” – Sean Chambers, Antelope High School girls’ varsity basketball coach

Jzaniya was nominated by her former principal and current Executive Director of Student Engagement John Becker. He’s seen Jzaniya’s competitiveness and dedication first hand, including her commitment to her teammates and the younger student-athletes around her.

Here’s what Jzaniya had to say about being a student-athlete, her role models and support system, and her future goals:

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student athlete is someone who takes their studies just as serious as the sport they play. Someone who wants to excel in the classroom just as much as they want to on the court or field.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

There are many memorable moments from my athletic career, but the highlight of my athletic career so far has to definitely be signing my NLI to attend my dream school, Stanford University. It felt good to turn my dreams into a reality and it showed me that hard work does pay off.

Who is your role model in athletics?

My role model in athletics is my father. He used to play and is the reason why I got into basketball. As he taught me everything he knew, we bonded and that made me love the game even more. Many people ask me who I model my game after and the answer to that is my dad. I play just like him.

What do you love most about competing?

What I enjoy most about competing is winning. I love to win, but I hate losing more and that fuels my competitive nature. I will do whatever my team needs me to do in order to win and that allows me to perform at my absolute highest level.

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

After high school I hope to win multiple championships with my teammates at Stanford and hopefully play professionally. I also plan on going to law school in hopes of eventually becoming a judge.

 

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Game Recognize Game: Clint High School’s Amari Morales is our February Winner

Game Recognize Game: Clint High School’s Amari Morales is our February Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is volleyball, softball, and basketball player Amari Morales from Clint High School in Texas.

Amari is a junior with three letters in volleyball and softball and two in basketball. She’s the captain of her club volleyball team and of her high school volleyball and softball teams and was a two-year All Conference team selection in volleyball. This past season, with an average seven assists per set, Amari helped lead her high school team to their first playoff win in 23 years. Her passion and drive on the court are matched by her dedication in the classroom. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and, in 2019, she received an AAU Academic All-American award.

Outside of school, Amari also shows up for those around her. Over Thanksgiving, she helped make and hand out over 300 meals to help feed those in need in her community. Amari was nominated by Power Sports Academy Athletic Director Robert Morales Jr. As one of her coaches, and her dad, Robert says the most impactful thing about Amari, and what truly sets her apart, is her unwavering commitment to her teammates.

We asked Amari what being a student-athlete means to her. Here’s what she had to say:

 

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

“I strongly believe that succeeding as a student-athlete not only requires unbreakable character, high moral standards, and incomparable work ethic, but also the ability to maintain a healthy balance between athletics and education.”

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

“The moment that stands out to me is receiving an Academic All-American award for the 2019 AAU Nationals in Orlando. It made me realize that the athletic community holds success in the classroom as highly as it holds performance on the court. I also came to see that I could never have accomplished this without my “tough-love” support system in my corner. Their persistent presence has pushed me to never accept mediocrity in anything I do.”

Who is your role model in athletics?

“From a very young age, I looked up to my aunt and my parents as my athletic role models. They shared their love of the sport with me and showed me that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. My drive and perseverance are derived from the passion they embedded in me.”

What do you love most about competing?

“Though my teammates and coaches change from season to season, my answer to this question will always remain the same: The thing I love most about competing is working as one with my team in order to accomplish a mutual goal. My teammates are like family and the connection we make through literal blood, sweat and tears makes being beside them on the court the best part about competing.”

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

“After high school, I would love to continue my education while playing the sport I love at the collegiate level. I plan to major in biology to pursue a career as a scientist. Nothing would make me happier than to find a place where I can make both of my goals a reality.”

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game: St. Mary’s Academy’s Elizabeth Elliott is our January Winner

Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game: St. Mary’s Academy’s Elizabeth Elliott is our January Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is basketball player Elizabeth Elliott from St. Mary’s Academy in California. Elizabeth is a four-year team captain and starter who was named Camino Real League MVP in her freshman and sophomore seasons. She also displays an incredible work ethic in the classroom, posting a 4.33 weighted GPA, which is one of the best in her class. Elizabeth earned St. Mary’s Student-Athlete of the Year award three times and has accepted a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at the University of Pacific. Elizabeth was nominated by her basketball coach Tramon Steele for being a tremendous athlete on the court and even better student in the classroom. Here’s Elizabeth, in her own words, on her experience as a high school student-athlete.

 

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student-athlete is a person who competes on the court and in the classroom. If one can manage a hectic schedule while juggling demanding AP commitments along with being the best teammate and player they can be, then that person is definitely working towards success. I believe a successful student athlete also has a backup plan or can rely on their academics when the ball stops. Lastly, a successful student athlete knows their limits on and off the court and still manages to love the sport while merging it with school requirements.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

I have a few highlight moments that I will cherish forever. The biggest one is receiving a scholarship to play basketball at a Division 1 University. There are over 399,000 plus girls that play high school basketball and only 1.3% get to play at the Division 1 level. So, receiving a scholarship to play basketball is a huge highlight of its own. The other highlights in my athletic career are being recognized as a top 100 player by ESPN HoopGurlz, winning league MVP as a sophomore, and being recognized by my city as one of the best players.

Who is your role model in athletics?

I would have to say my father, Kevin Elliott, and my high school coach Tramon Steele. They’ve both been there for me throughout my high school and travel ball career. They both took the unconventional route to play college basketball, so their knowledge is real and raw. They work really well together to make sure I have everything I need to be successful. I can go to them for advice on different things and they always have my best interest in mind. They’ve really shown me that there’s more to the game than just getting buckets, like showing up for my team, making lifelong connections, and representing those who’ve come before me.

What do you love most about competing in athletics?

Being in a team atmosphere. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. From putting your jerseys on to picking the pregame music, having teammates that you can call family just makes competing ten times better. I also love playing in big games. I like to prove others wrong when we play teams that are “better” than us. It allows you to test your limits and shows your teammates that you have their back—win, lose, or draw. Breaking boundaries and expectations is one of the best parts of competing.

What are some goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

After high school I will be attending the University of Pacific on a full basketball scholarship. For a long time, my main focus has been to get to college. Now that I’ve achieved it, the work finally begins. One of my goals is to win the West Coast Conference championship and to compete for a starting position. I also have ambitions to play overseas for a while. Academically, I would like to pursue a master’s degree or even a doctorate degree in psychology.

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen