Catching Up with Junior Rocky Avila

Written by James LeClercq '17

Raquel (Rocky) Avila, a junior guard has been working diligently on her three point game this season. She feels it is her biggest improvement, and strives to be the best she can be the rest of the season. With the second half of the season underway, Rocky believes that her team has the ability to compete and stay competitive in the remaining games of the season.

SCU: As a guard, what skills could you not live without?

RA: As a guard, one of the main skills I could not live without would be ball handling. Especially as a point guard, it's my responsibility to bring up the ball and handle pressure. My teammates need to feel comfortable with the ball in my hands whether I'm trying to break a full court press or simply handling pressure from my defender.

SCU: Before games, do you have any particular routines or rituals?

RA: On the morning of a game, we always have a team shoot-around for about an hour and at the end of shoot-around, we'll all take one half-court shot just for fun. On occasion, J-mo will put something on the line for the person who makes their half-court shot like desert or team dinner at her house. After shoot-around, we all go eat our pre-game meal together. We will normally have food from Pasta Pomodoro or BJ's. I would say our favorite place to go to is Bill's.

SCU: How are the freshmen adjusting to the next level and the team in general?

RA: The freshmen are doing a great job of adjusting to the next level. The jump from high school to D1 college basketball is a big one. You play opponents who are bigger, faster, and better than those you see at the high school level. The freshmen aren't letting that jump phase them and they look very comfortable out there on the court. The fact that we have two freshman starters is a testament to the hard work they're putting in.

SCU: What is one thing in your game that you have really seen improve so far this season?

RA: One part of my game that I have seen improve this season is probably my three point shooting. I've become more comfortable shooting the 3 and I'm starting to take more as oppose to before when I would pass up many wide open three-point shots. I still have a lot of work to do in that area but I would say that it is one of my biggest improvements this season.

SCU: What are your goals for the second half of the season as a team and as a player?

RA: Some goals for the second half of the season as a team would be to compete every game. There's a huge difference in playing in a game where you lost but competed and a game where you lost because you didn't compete. Competing means you played hard for two halves and didn't take a possession off. We've done a good job of doing that in the past couple of games. We made it our goal to do that for the rest of the season. As a player, my goal for the rest of the season is to show up every game. I've had a couple of games where I didn't do what my team needed me to do. My goal is to shake off those types of games and do everything I can to contribute to our team's win.