Excelling in one varsity sport is difficult. How about two sports and maintaining an elite grade-point average?
This in a nutshell is recent Burroughs High graduate Marin Grote, who played on the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams all four seasons and will play the latter at the University of Washington.
“Playing two sports most definitely had its tough spots,’’ said Grote, who stands 6-feet, four-inches and averaged 10 points, 15 rebounds with four blocks, four assists and two steals on the hardwood and 20 kills with three blocks and three aces in volleyball. “Playing two sports has taught me how to manage my time. I loved the long and busy days because I loved what I was doing.’’
What did Grote, a three-time Pacific League Most Valuable Player and a three-time All-Area first-teamer in volleyball and a two-time All-League first-team pick in basketball, think about while on the floor?
“I always try to stay positive,’’ she said. “Move on to the next play or possession and think about how can I help my team right now. For volleyball the answer would typically be to get a block. Blocks are huge momentum changes and can actually turn a set around. In basketball my thoughts would be to remain calm and to get the ball back on offense.’’
The ultimate team goal is to capture a CIF Southern Section title. During Grote’s time, Burroughs never reached this pinnacle.
Does Grote, who nabbed six MVP honors during summer and league tourneys, feel the Indians, who reached the playoffs each season in both sports including the semifinals twice in basketball and the quarterfinals twice in volleyball, were successful?
“I would say both teams accomplished most of their goals,’’ said Grote. “The other goals such as win the league, continue the Burroughs legacy and to be a team on and off the court were all accomplished. I still feel successful in both sports because I had a team behind me to back up my every move.’’
Which match and game does Grote, named All-CIF first-team in volleyball as a junior, remember the most?
“My fondest memory for volleyball would be playing Arcadia my sophomore, junior and senior year,’’ she noted. “I actually had a team clubmate, Rachel Reedy, on Arcadia and playing her was a challenge and a blast. The games were always intense and so much fun.’’
Grote continued: “For basketball it would probably be my senior night this year when he beat Burbank. The team was going crazy for Jenny Galvan, who was the other senior. Jenny came in and swished a three-pointer after sitting. The team was all just so happy and then Coach Vicky Oganyan walks over to tell us that we had tied for first place in league. None of us could believe it. We went from 4-3 halfway through the season to winning league.’’
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.