Senior Haylee Aiden recently committed to play Division 1 basketball at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. This means she received a full-ride scholarship to the school in honor of her basketball skills and achievements. Receiving a scholarship to any school is a feat, but in the world of sports, playing for a D1 school is an honor beyond that.
In the 2018-19 season Cal Baptist was 11-5 under coach Jarrod Olson. Olson won to PacWest Coach of the Year awards and will certainly help Aiden and her new team. The Cal Baptist Lancers were recently transitioned from Division II to Division I and show good promise for next year.
Aiden brings an impressive ability to defend on the court by blocking shots, which will benefit the Lancers next year.
“My biggest dream has always been to play basketball at the next level and get a scholarship to a Division 1 school, so I am super ecstatic to have reached it,” said Aiden.
Aiden has been playing basketball for most of her life, taking up most of her time from a very young age. She started playing when she was seven years old with park ball in a recreational league. Aiden is currently playing on the school’s varsity team and has been selected as a first team West Valley League player several times.
She has also been selected as an All City CIF Section player as an Open Division Player on the All State Team.
She was even recognized as Female Athlete of the Week in a Los Angeles Daily News Article her sophomore year.
“Basketball has been a massive piece of who I am and is a big part of my day to day schedule. I usually don’t go a day without touching a basketball,” said Aiden.
Her position is a center, or a 5 on the court. That is because she is particularly tall, standing at 6’2. Last year she averaged 6.5 points with an average of 9.3 rebounds per game according to Max Preps. This is a huge growth from her freshman year when she averaged 1.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
She attributes much of her growth to her GHC coaches.
“I would like to thank Coach Jared Honig and Coach Stan Delus for putting countless hours into improving my game and pushing me to be the very best that I could be on a daily basis,” Aiden tweeted when announcing her commitment to Cal Baptist.
Her teammates are both supportive and proud of her prestigious scholarship.
“It’s really great playing on Granada’s team because the coaches and girls help us get better every year. Players like Haylee definitely how we can succeed and make it onto a D1 team,” junior Natalie Satamian said.
She didn’t reach her dreams with no effort, though, it took countless hours of practice and training to get where she is now.
She plays year round with no breaks. For the school’s team, training runs from summer into preseason in the fall where teams compete on a more unofficial basis. Then the league’s season is in the winter.
And in spring and summer, she also has club basketball which has its own training and practices. Club basketball is sometimes even more competitive than the school’s league and often more stressful.
“My goal now is just to be successful at the next level and continue to improve at all levels of my game. I am nervous but so excited!” Aiden said.