This week’s athlete of the week is women’s basketball player and senior Athena Alvarado.
Alvarado maintains a 3.25 GPA as a English major. Alvarado has been on the women’s basketball team since she entered Pitt State as a freshman but has been playing basketball since she was in seventh grade.
Over the course of her basketball career, Alvarado has played in 89 games. Last season, Alvarado played in 28 games and recorded a new season high in scoring 20 points in a game against Embry-Riddle. She also earned honorable Mention All-MIAA Honors. Alvarado played 30 games in the 2017-2018 season and led the team in blocked shots with 32 in total. In the 2016-2017 season, Alvarado played 29 games and again led the team in blocked shots with 29 in total. In high school, Alvarado earned first-team All-City League honors, an honorable mention Kansas Class 5A All-State selection by the Wichita Eagle, and she earned two varsity letter in track and field.
Alvarado said she has made lasting friendships while on the team.
“I just love the relationships that I’ve made because of basketball like all the friendships I’ve made with like all my teammates (and) all the coaches I’ve met,” Alvarado said. “Not to mention the different kind of people you get to meet playing the game.
Balancing college and a sport can be difficult, but according to Alvarado the secret is time management.
“Honestly, it’s all about your time management skills,” Alvarado said. “Personally, what I do is like I have a Google Calendar and I’ll put in like all the different stuff I’m doing throughout the day and that’s how I keep my life together. It’s really all about time management being a student athlete.”
Alvarado feels her biggest accomplishment came last year as a junior on the women’s basketball team.
“… I’d say my biggest accomplishment was last year,” Alvarado said. “Rising in and filling the spot of Maddie (Madison) Northcutt was something I was worried about. She was the main rebounder on our team, and I went from having three rebounds a game to seven. That was a big accomplishment for me.”
After she graduates, Alvarado hopes to teach high school English in Denver, Colorado.
“… No (I’m not from Denver),” Alvarado said. “I’ve just been to the city and I absolutely love it and I’ve done a lot of research on like their school system and that kind of thing and I just kind of fell in love with the city.”
There are a couple of big supporters in Alvarado’s life.
“My biggest support (has been) my uncle, Roger,” Alvarado said. “He’s a really big supporter. After most of my games, he’ll text me and he’ll just tell me good job and all that kind of thing. Definitely my coaches. I’ve been through some rough seasons and my coaches have always gone out of their way to be there.”
The women’s basketball team opened up their 2019 season last week and Alvarado is looking forward to the season.
“I’m just really excited for this year,” Alvarado said. “We have a really great team. It’s Coach Davied’s second year being the head coach and she’s doing absolutely amazing and I’m excited to see how far we’ll go. We have a great team this year.”