Basketball Fuels Taloma's Drive
Teammates deem “Kookie” Taloma the Energizer Bunny, the point guard who has a huge love of the game.
Chriselle Taloma's stature is not a common one for a basketball player. But when you see Taloma on the court, her leadership skills and love for basketball show clearly.
Playing basketball is part of her family, and Taloma's passion for basketball started when she was at age 12.
"My (siblings) and I are very athletic children," said Taloma. "One time we were messing around and throwing ketchup packets in the trash can, and that's when my uncle told me that I should play basketball, and I was like, ‘okay, give me a ball' and that's when I started messing around the basketball."
Taloma, figured out that it was something she wanted to pursue after she left Holmes Middle School where she played.
"I didn't really play serious basketball until after middle school," explained Taloma. "The summer from middle school to high school was when I started training and playing organized basketball."
Taloma also accredits her love for the game to her long-time teammate and friend, guard Porcha Davis.
"We played everywhere together," said Taloma. "Playing with her is so easy because we know each other, and now our chemistry is way better than anybody's, even my sister's."
While having a great bond with a fellow teammate is also important, having a sister who plays the sport makes the game special to Kookie.
"I like playing with my sister," Kookie Taloma said. "We do have chemistry playing basketball together."
Prior to playing at Valley, Taloma started on the Monroe High School varsity squad all four years, while managing to play on two travel teams. This dedication and love for basketball has been clearly carried over to her time with the Monarchs while making her one of Head Coach Monica Hang's go-to leaders.
"Kookie is one of our leaders because she leads by example," said Hang. "She understands that hard work must be exerted to become successful. Since I've met her, she has grown tremendously as a player and individual. She is a pleasure to have on our Valley team and I can't wait until the end of season to see the person and player she will become."
Guard Porcha Davis and forward Richelle Najera agree that Taloma brings good energy when it comes to basketball.
"She's really a good leader and that's what makes her a stand-out player," said Najera. "She has a love for the sport; you can tell when she's playing … she always has a smile on."
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