Photo Courtesy of Marielle Beltran
Imagine starting to play a sport late in your teens. A sport that you’re generally indifferent about until finding out that you might excel at said sport. Meet Marielle Beltran, someone in which this scenario actually applies to.
Beltran wasn’t originally a basketball player, but one of her high school coaches saw her potential and suggested she play for the team, and now she’s in love with the sport.
Wearing number 11, Beltran plays the four and five, or power forward and center, respectively, for Skyline’s basketball team. She only got into the sport and casually played in the 8th grade, but she has fallen in love with the sports ever since. And even only with seven years of experience, she has greatly improved her ball game.
She started off playing volleyball in middle school, but she saw her that friends played basketball, and she decided to give it a shot. She wasn’t planning on playing team basketball but, oddly enough, she was the only one to stay on the team among her friends after.
She actually has a love-hate relationship with basketball, being on and off the sport. For example she doesn’t play basketball a year, then plays a year later.
“I always said I didn’t like basketball,” Beltran said. “It just surprises me because I always told myself that basketball is not my thing but then I always want to play.”
Women’s basketball coach Chris Watters has seen her improvement, especially after Beltran’s yearlong sabbatical from basketball.
“I think she definitely got better as the season went along,” Coach Watters said. “She had taken a year off from playing basketball before coming back to us. So, you know, it took a little time to get back into the flow of the game. But once she got going she definitely improved a lot.”
Even her teammates have noticed her improvement too, not only as a player, but also as a teammate.
“She is super nice, always working really hard, and she’s really caring,” Janice Coronado said.
“The first day I came to practice, I was a week late, and she was the most open person,” Coronado said “I probably would have left if it wasn’t for her, actually.”
She enjoys basketball and gets really into it, which is probably a factor in her improvement.
“I don’t think about anything else,” Beltran said. “I feel so good playing because I don’t really worry about anything when I’m playing.”
“As a player, she improved a lot because I noticed she still asks a lot of questions but then she applies what she learns from the answers,” Chloe Tinio said. “And then as a team player, she is very encouraging so it encouraged me to do better in practice.”
She and the rest of the basketball team look forward to a better season, especially because the team is coming in with numerous improvements.