By Jenelyn Russo     7/16/2020

For Rosary Academy’s Asia Avinger, basketball is more than just her favorite sport. The recent graduate strongly believes that connection is the best part about being on the court. 

“Basketball is more than just a game,” says Avinger. “I feel like it brings people closer in life. It allows me to connect with other people in different ways.” 

Avinger’s passion, drive and intensity, along with her long list of high school basketball career achievements, has earned her the title of 2020 Trinity League Athlete of the Year, as awarded by the Diocese of Orange. 

The point guard standout can add this award to the many other honors she has accumulated this spring, including being named OC Register’s Female Athlete of the Year, as well as Basketball Player of the Year. 

“Asia’s award is gratifying, but not surprising,” says Rosary Academy Athletic Director, Tom Tice. “She has set the bar high in her academic, spiritual, personal, and athletic goals and accomplishments – and that’s what the Trinity League is all about.” 

A two-time state champion for the Royals, Avinger has been dribbling a basketball for as long as she can remember.  

“When I was four years old, I begged my grandmother to put me on a team or find a team for me,” says Avinger. “Ever since then, I fell in love with the game.” 

She turned that love into a high school performance for the ages, earning All-CIF, All-State and Trinity League MVP Honors, averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in the 2019-20 season. 

In addition to her two state titles, Avinger helped lead Rosary to a share of the 2020 Trinity League Championship, as well as the 2020 CIF Southern California Division 1 Championship. The team was just a day away from defending their state title before their trip was cut short due to COVID-19. 

While her senior season didn’t end the way she envisioned, Avinger cherishes each day she spent with her teammates, whether it was a championship game or a routine practice. 

“I’ve worked so hard for it,” says Avinger. “It’s all about thanking God, that’s first. And I thank all my teammates for helping me and pushing me through the last few years of my high school season.” 

Considered a “coach’s dream” by Royals head basketball coach Richard Yoon, the legacy that Avinger is leaving at Rosary extends far beyond the court. 

“In reflection of coaching Asia, there are three factors that make her outstanding,” says Yoon. “One, she is a fierce competitor that believes she can win every game. Two, she has strength and speed that intimidates her opponents—and actually puts fear in them. And three, she loves her teammates and has great compassion for others. She exhibits character and integrity in every situation. Asia is that type of athlete.” 

Avinger’s next steps include preparing for a new chapter in her life and playing career at San Diego State University, where she is scheduled to arrive on campus for training later this month. She is ready for a new team, new teammates and a new normal, but will always be grateful for her time as a Royal. 

“I just want to thank Rosary for welcoming me, always treating me with respect and always believing in me,” says Avinger. “I would also like to thank Richard Yoon for taking me in under his wing and building the player that I am today.”