TULARE, Calif. (KSEE) – When you see number 15 on the Mission Oak High School girls’ basketball team you see why she is a star athlete on the court – but this senior in Tulare is known for being a leader outside the gym and inside the classroom.
“The things that she possesses and that a lot of these kids possess are not skills relegated just to a basketball court, they are life skills. There are things in life that are going to help them be successful, and work with other people,” said Dave Caetano, Mission Oak High School Girls’ basketball coach
Auliya Gonzales has been on the school’s varsity basketball team since her freshman year. Her coaches noticed right away she is kind, respectful and always keeps a positive attitude.
“I think the fact that she is always calm. You know she is always very calm about everything. We have been in high-pressure situations in a competitive sport, and she manages to maintain,” said Caetano
That calm state of mind keeps her teammates in check. Auliya is known for pointing out their accomplishments.
“It makes you realize that you are actually doing something. And it is more impactful when someone else tells us other than the coaches,” said teammate and Mission Oak High School senior Mariah Martinez.
That leadership has made Auliya team captain again this season.
She takes on the role to make sure everyone stays connected before and after each game.
“We are really bonded together, and it really helps with our game. When we get on each other, nobody takes it as oh I am trying to bring you down. We take it as oh it is my team trying to help me be better,” she said.
Auliya hopes to play college basketball next year. While she does not know exactly where yet, she does know she will major in nursing.