Column: Making the Most of Your High School Timeline

When I was a freshman, all of the seniors would tell me about how fast high school would go by, and at the time, I didn’t believe them. Now that I’m a senior who is under two months away from graduating, I find myself giving a similar message.

While all four years seemed to go by quicker than I thought, I am content with leaving high school knowing that I will have no regrets as to what I have accomplished in my time here.

From the classroom to the basketball court, I’ve done all that I can for my school while facing challenges that included the sorrows of AP and honors classes, the effects of surgery, and many others.

August 15, 2012– I walked on to the Redlands East Valley campus for the very first time as a student. Unfamiliar faces crowded me across the school, while I prepared for four years of memories, achievements, and lessons that would last a lifetime.

My freshman year was going well as a student athlete until an unforeseen event occurred.

Dec. 3– The day of my first regular season high school basketball game and unfortunately a date that changed my life forever. A few hours before tip-off, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my hip bone. Whether this tumor would be classified as benign or not, was unknown, making my circumstance a bit scarier.

Facing off adversity from the news, I went to my game and scored what would be my season high of 12 points, in our 61-40 win.

Dec. 8– Five days later, we won the championship game in overtime, 55-52, where I would once again score 12 points, in my final game before my surgery.

Dec. 10- Since my health concern required immediate surgery, I was forced to take all five of my final semester exams on this day, which was followed by my final basketball practice for weeks.

Dec. 11– I went into surgery, and after learning of the fortunate news that my tumor was benign, I spent multiple days in the hospital, thinking about returning home and to  the court.

Even though my doctor predicted that I would be off of the court for six to eight weeks, I returned to practice in just three.

Jan. 8, 2013- After watching 11 games from the sideline, I returned to my first in-game action since my recovery, nearly a month later, which also happened to be our first Citrus Belt League game of the season, in which we won 60-44 over Yucaipa High School.

In regards to my health, for the remainder of the season, I played limited minutes due to not being at full strength quite yet. Although this was a struggle for me, I adjusted as best as I could, and my team went on to finish the season with a total record of 25-1, undefeated in league play, en route to winning the CBL Championship.

Sophomore and junior years are a blur of AP and honors classes, doctor’s appointments, and hours of committing myself to basketball. Pretty soon, I’m a senior and a young adult.

August 12, 2015- I’m walking onto the REV campus for my first day of school for the final time there.

To my surprise, some of my closest friends from my first year of high school, weren’t the ones with me as I headed into my last year. But I was completely fine with that, because the important ones were the ones who were always by my side.

Although I had grown to be quite familiar with the campus and people around it, this first day just seemed to be a bit different. All of the lessons from my previous three years had to now come together for my final year. I wanted absolutely no regrets for my senior year.

Sept. 10, 2015- A special day for not only me and my classmates, but for the whole Redlands Unified School District. After about a month of hard work from both REV and Citrus Valley High School, united through our fifth period News Production TelePresence class, the RUSD released its first ever online newspaper publication by the name of “ETHIC News.”

ETHIC has accomplished more than ever thought possible this year, as we have released a total of 13 online publications and one semester recap magazine thus far. I have had the honor of holding the title of “sports editor” for this historic first year of ETHIC’s existence.

Throughout this year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet different people, make new friends, and learn the skills of journalism along the way thanks to the help of ETHIC.

Nov. 30– The date of my last season opening basketball game. My team and I had trained nonstop throughout the spring, summer, and fall in order to get ready for the regular season, and now that it was here, we wanted to leave it all out on the court. We won this game in a score of 90-66, which would turn out to be our first win of 24 total this season.

Feb. 12, 2016- 22 wins later, and we’re now looking to clinch a share of the league title. On this day, we celebrated our “Senior Night,” in which all of the seniors of the program would be honored in their last home regular season game in the Wildcat gym.

Ironically, for all of the seniors who had played four-years at REV, we were facing off against the CBL team who we played first as freshman, Yucaipa.

After the pregame ceremony for the seniors, it was game time, and nothing was going to stop us from winning the CBL title for our school. We came out firing right off of the bat, and we never looked back, as we went on to win the game 55-27, earning a share of the league title in doing so.

Following my junior season in which we failed to achieve the CBL championship, this meant more than just a title, it was a representation of all the years of dedication us seniors, juniors, and sophomores had given to this program.

Feb. 23– A date that I will never forget. I didn’t know it then, but this would be the final high school basketball game of my career

It was the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Playoffs, and we were matched up with La Mirada. The game seemed to have a different sense about it from the start.

Although the game went back and forth, we lost in a final score of 63-50. After the game, emotions were shared as we all realized that was our last game together as a team. For us seniors, our high school basketball careers had now come to a close. Even though it was all over, we couldn’t help but think about all that we had achieved in these past four years for our school.

March 1- A few weeks later, my status for my future was confirmed when I was accepted to the University of California, Riverside.

UCR is a school that was attended by both of my parents, and while I’m sad to leave REV, I’m so proud and honored to be able to attend the university and call it my home for the next four years.

For me, high school wasn’t just a waste of four years. It was a time to help me figure out who I truly
am before I begin the next chapter of my life, while making memories that will last forever.

I hope that your senior year, you look back on your high school timeline with pride as well.

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