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Athlete of the Season: Aubrie Vale

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By Ngozi Ekeledo

Burley, ID ( KMVT - TV / KTWT - TV ) The ride to becoming one of the Magic Valley's best girls basketball players this year started long before Aubrie Vale ever suited up in a varsity jersey.

'I've played basketball since I was five,” the Burley High School senior said. “I've had great coaches throughout my years. I've had great parents who know the game and everything, so just having those people in my life and knowing the game of basketball—it really helps."

Like the crafty assists she masters on the court, Vale is never shy about offering up praises for her teammates and coaches.

"We've gone so far since our 3 and 19 record, so we've just become a great team," she said when reflecting on this past season.

But this time the focus is all on her.

As our girls basketball athlete of the season, Vale had some pretty lofty individual accomplishments. The senior tallied 313 points this season, which ranked second on the team. She averaged 12 points per game and shot almost 50 percent from the field.

Get her behind the arc, and she took the top spot hands down for the Bobcats. With a 37.6 three-point percentage, Vale outpaced the team with 47 made three-point shots.

But even these numbers came from a place of passion and dedication that Burley head coach Roger Caresia said defines her mentality.

"Sophomore year, she wasn't a great shooter. She worked on it—she worked on it hard.She spent a lot of time in the gym, [and even went] over to the racquetball club when she wasn't in the high school [gym] just shooting, shooting, shooting,” he said.

“She's put a lot of hard work into it, and then it's just translated over onto the floor— and you see the player she is now."

Like any elite point guard, Vale's quick hands and dishing abilities were also her true assets this season. She led the Bobcats in steals, with 87 on the year, and assists, with 71 dimes.

"She's really just tried to lead with hard work, coming to practice and on the floor just playing hard, and I think she's done that,” Caresia said. “I don't think there was a time the last three years [when] we've opened the gym—summer practices, whatever—that Aubrie didn't show up all the time."

For now, the speedy player is slowing it down when it comes to the next step, but she does hope she'll be suiting up at the next level.

"I'm looking at a few colleges right now, and they're thinking about offering me some scholarships so you might see me," she said with a smile.

While nothing in the future is promised, a few things, for now, are certain. Aubrie Vale left a big impression on a resurgent Bobcats program, and her mark will not be forgotten—Caresia guarantees that.

"She set a trend and now we gotta keep it going."



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