As of Friday, November 16, 2018
This past Wednesday I had the honor of being present for a momentous occasion… another Sunnyside High School athlete committing to play sports in college.
I have to say it is pretty amazing to me, seeing local student athletes rise to the level of playing college sports.
There have been several of these moments in the past few years, where the athletes who have worked so hard have an opportunity to shine as they sign the documents stating they will compete for a college.
This one was particularly special to me because it was Ashlee Maldonado.
She is the third member of her family to be chosen to play basketball for a college in recent years.
Her cousin and her older sister, both among Sunnyside’s elite girls basketball players, also committed to and played hoops at the collegiate level.
I watched these young ladies grow from tiny little girls to beautiful, upstanding young women.
Their athletic prowess, good enough for the local record books, always amazed me.
But what makes them particularly special isn’t their God-given talents on the hardwood.
It’s their family. They, like many other families in the community, step up to support one another in all circumstances.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews gather at nearly every sporting event, cheering on their favorite kids.
They are tight-knit but loving and kind to others around them.
The bonds are beautiful, and it is clear they place family first in everything they do.
It is one of the most wonderful things about the community… the bonds created, and the family values.
Whether the kid playing AAU basketball, Grid Kid football or soccer, swimming or taking part in a non-athletic activity, the families come together. They become extended family and our community is stronger for it.