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Women's Basketball Player Earns Full Ride to UC Irvine

Valley College basketball player Vanessa Aguilar earned a full-ride scholarship to UC Irvine.

By CrIstIna Serrato | Special to the Star
On March 14, 2012

Valley College women's basketball guard Vanessa Aguliar had her pick of a full ride
to three schools. With over 240 points scored in conference-play and mesmerizing agility, the Valley talent was offered full scholarships to the University of California Irvine, Hawaii Pacific University and Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

"Vanessa is one of the best players in the state. She has grown tremendously during her season at LAVC. I am proud of her and the things that she has accomplished," said coach Monica Hang. "She has flourished into a Division I student athlete and is currently being recruited by multiple Division I and Division II universities."

Few would guess by looking at Aguilar that behind her thin build and demure smile is a basketball dynamo capable of dominating any court. This past season she was a three-time Western State Conference player of the week and an all-conference selection. She was also a California Community College Athletic Association honorable mention.

"Vanessa Aguilar is the best student-athlete I have ever coached," said Hang, who has coached at the junior college level for more than seven years. "She is a very talented basketball player.
Some of the things she is capable of doing seem so effortless. She has the best offensive skills and athleticism for her position."

At 19, Aguilar proved to be a stellar player, dedicated student and perfect role model. She is a self-professed basketball fanatic who believes her best move was coming back to Valley to train under coach Hang after a year spent on scholarship at Arizona Western University.

"Coming back to Valley was a good thing. It was good to be back," said Aguilar. "I learned a lot. I grew as a person, and train- ing under coach Hang was a great experience. She was tough, but I'm glad. She made me a better person on and off the court."

Aguilar would love to play professionally but is currently focused on the future and a big- ger picture. She wishes to find a career one day that could help her give back to others and maybe help change lives.

When asked about her reflec- tions on the past season and the way she played, Aguilar replied, "I'm disappointed that we didn't make it to conference. It would have been the first year ever. It sucks for the team, but it is what it is."

After taking a few weeks to mull it over, Aguilar decided to take her unrivaled skills to UC Irvine, where she will major in sociology.

"I plan to play my best wher- ever I am at," said Aguilar. "But it's not just about me; it's about the school and the team. It's about planning for the future."

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