Therese Enriquez picked up a basketball at a young age, and it was her mother who initially taught her the basics including passing, catching and shooting. The early instruction instilled a passion for the sport in Enriquez that is as strong as ever today.
“That’s kind of how I got my start, but my family also played it a lot and watched it on TV during family gatherings,” says Enriquez. “So I was just kind of surrounded by it growing up.”
A junior at Cornelia Connelly High School, Enriquez is a varsity player and shooting guard for the Koalas, and enjoys contributing both to her team and her school through athletics.
“I have a love for basketball,” says the 16-year-old. “I just really enjoy being on the court and playing with my team. I love representing my high school and the things that we stand for, and being able to live out our motto—lead, serve, inspire—on the court.”
Head basketball coach at Connelly, Megan Marrujo, knows she can count on Enriquez for her skills and leadership.
“Therese is a great athlete who is always looking to improve on her skills,” says Marrujo. “She works extremely hard every day and is willing play any position needed. She is a reliable and dependable individual who likes to lead by example, and her determination will help her continue to grow as a basketball player and as an individual.”
Balancing the challenges of academics and injuries, Enriquez has learned plenty about patience, trust and perseverance through the sport.
“Basketball has taught me to trust my teammates, have patience with them and myself, and also to persevere,” says Enriquez. “That translates to everyday life. Trusting others, family and friends, having patience with them and yourself, enduring bad times and also persevering through those situations.”
Off the court, Enriquez is active on campus as a reporter for the school newspaper, the Connelly Chronicle, a member of Campus Ministry and a Connelly Ambassador. The Santa Ana resident plans on becoming a neonatal nurse, and hopes to continue playing basketball recreationally in college.
Enriquez looks up to her parents for, “their hard work, for their continuous love and support…and encouragement to do my best.” Faith and prayer play a significant role for Enriquez through the sport.
“Being a student athlete, I definitely pray before, during and after games,” says Enriquez. “I pray for the safety for all of the players. I pray for guidance, and I pray for me to play to the best of the ability that God has given me. And also before games, I always write a bible verse on my arm to remind myself who I play for, why I’m able to play in the first place and to remind myself to be humble when I play.”