Jayden Rivera sees her future clearly, even though the 14-year-old still attends middle school.
Recognizing the value of an education and setting goals for your life are just two of the many values Rivera has learned as a member of Gil Basketball Academy.
The Bolsa Knolls Middle School student lives with her sister Mia, and her parents, Laura Juarez and Ernie Rivera. Next year she will attend Alisal High School, yet she already envisions herself in law school.
“I want to become a lawyer,” she said.
Jayden credits basketball with keeping her fit, healthy and focused.
“Basketball really helps me. It keeps me productive and in shape,” she said. “Without basketball, and without all these amazing people I have met, I really don’t know what I would be doing right now. It’s like my safe place to do what I love. My basketball life is amazing.”
On the court, Jayden is a 5-foot, 5-inch point guard/shooting guard. She has played on GBA select teams, traveling throughout the west to play against tough competition. She’s also earned the opportunity to attend premier basketball camps held by Stanford University and the Golden State Warriors. (Jayden shares the same uniform number, 30, as Warriors star Steph Curry).
“GBA has opened so many doors for me,” she said. “This academy makes me feel welcome, and it’s like you have your family around you when we travel. We make friends and, most importantly, have fun.”