Athlete of the month: Juliana Gamboa


Calvin Ru

Senior Juliana Gamboa (right) has been a part of the team for over three years.

Pauline Villegas, A&E Editor

Senior Juliana Gamboa wasn’t always one of the best on the basketball court. In fact, Gamboa didn’t start playing on a basketball team until she was in the sixth grade at Chaparral Middle School.

In her freshman year, Gamboa became what is known as a “tweener,” which is when someone plays on both varsity and junior varsity. She started whenever she would play with JV, and eventually became the starting point guard on varsity in her sophomore year despite only five years of experience.

Gamboa said that playing basketball has taught her many things, including how to be a leader. As both a starter and one of the three captains, Gamboa flourished as a leader with the help of head coach Tony McCabe and other assistant coaches.

“When I began playing I would just boss people around, but my coaches helped me through it and now I can talk to my teammates respectfully,” Gamboa said.

Teammate Candace Black, a senior, has played with Gamboa for three years now. They have both learned how to use their leadership skills to communicate well with their fellow players.

“Juliana is one of the best players we have on our team and since we are both captains and starters, it makes it easier to play well, communicate, and have fun on the court,” Black said.

While maintaining her grades and her involvement with basketball, Gamboa also began playing with the travel team Cal Sparks, based out of Long Beach, in her junior year.

Gamboa has continued to play basketball for not only her love of the game, but also the dedicated work she puts into getting better. Her competitive mentality allows her to constantly push through any obstacle in her way.

“When I first came to Diamond Bar, the coaches really wanted me to get better, so I fell in love with the process of getting better. I’ve realized that is what keeps me going” Gamboa said.

Basketball is a large part of Gamboa’s life. She is currently signed with Hobart and William Smith College in New York, a Division III school.

Although she didn’t receive a scholarship, she said she believes that continuing her basketball career is important.

In the upcoming season, Gamboa looks forward to all of the challenging competition throughout league and during tournaments.

“The competition in league is going to be great this year. It will be a very close game every single night,” Gamboa said.

After she moves on from Diamond Bar, she hopes that she will inspire her teammates to continue playing hard next year.

“I hope they see how much passion I play with and they maintain that in the upcoming years. I hope I inspire them to always want to win and get better.”