By Alexis Galarza Posted March 10, 2023
This issue’s Athlete of the Issue was awarded to three-sport athlete Mia Hernandez. Hernandez’s love for sprouted from the early age of five, when she was first introduced to basketball. She also participates in track and field, and soccer. Out of the three basketball holds a special place in Hernandez’s heart.
“It’s just been something I’ve been doing since I was in third grade and I’ve been playing it until now and it’s just been my favorite thing,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez became a two-time state champion playing recovering from a torn meniscus. Hernandez did not let this set her back.
“Mia is an amazingly driven young lady and talented athlete,” said soccer coach Entwistle. “Mia tore her meniscus minutes into the first game of our fall soccer season and worked relentlessly to return ahead of schedule.”
Hernandez pushed through physical therapy and new medications because she desperately wanted to finish her senior season.
“I did do physical therapy to help but knowing it was my last year nothing was going to stop me,” said Hernandez.
Her main inspiration to keep going despite these injuries is her grandpa.
“He loved basketball, he went D1 playing it and he had just been my biggest supporter and inspiration,” said Hernandez.
With inspiration from her grandfather, Hernandez became a team leader on the lady bucks basketball team.
“She might not have led the team in points or rebounding, but she played a huge role in our overall success this year,” said basketball coach Chelsea Cababat. “She made big plays on the defensive end that helped us win a state championship.”
Hernandez is highlighted multiple times for being a great defender, even after suffering from her injury, with perseverance she gained her position back.
“Mia came back from her injury better than ever, earned her starting position back, and became a confident shut-down defender,” said Entwistle.
In order to become a state champion for basketball, defense is one of the most important aspects of the game. Not only does Hernandez excel in defense in soccer, but she also shows her defensive power in basketball as well.
“Mia also played fantastic defense throughout the season, always having to guard one of the other team’s best players,” said Cababat.
Along with basketball and soccer, Hernandez also participates in track and field. In track and field, she runs the 200-meter and pole vaults.
Despite being involved in many varsity sports, Hernandez’s quality to keep going despite any challenge comes from her grandfather.
“He is my hero, he’s been fighting stage 4 colon cancer since I was in the fourth grade and he’s shown me to never give up and stop fighting and nothing that life gives you can take you down,” said Hernandez.