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A Look Inside the Women’s Basketball Team

Palomar Comet Freshman Dayvis Key posed to shoot in the Jan. 17 game against Southwestern College Jaguars. Image Credit — Hector Flores.

Women’s Basketball Coach, Leigh Marshall joined Palomar College in 2010 and since then has led the Palomar Comets to numerous victories. The athletes she coaches find inspiration and motivation from her dedication to the sport and the team.

Coach Leigh Marshall during basketball practice.
Image Credit — Hugh Cox.

After reaching 275 careers wins in January, Coach Marshall reflected on the bedrock of her and the entire women’s basketball team’s success.

“Hard work is the secret sauce, you know, the secret recipe to success. And it’s not a secret,” said Marshall.

When it comes to inspiring enthusiasm within the team, Marshall said, “I think the number one thing is this: I can’t demand something of them unless I’m willing to do it myself. So showing them like I’m the first to get there. I’m the last to leave.”

The Telescope spoke to several players from the team about where they channeled their motivation and inspiration during the past season.

Guard, Teanna Alaman said that Coach Marshall is her motivation. “She will push you to your limits… until you’re like, oh my god, I did that!” said Alaman.

“I feel like it can translate into real life… If something comes your way, you’re like, well, if I can get through that, I can get through anything,” she said. Alaman said taht she had “never met a coach that put so much effort and time and dedication into a program like this.”

Angeline Valdivia, guard, was also inspired by her coach. “Coach Marshall puts… everything into our program, so I think it makes us appreciate it more,” she said.

But despite the team’s success, their path to victory hasn’t been easy. Valdivia said one of the team’s greatest challenges was the fact that most of the players were freshmen. “It was really challenging for us to get in a groove as a team,” she said.

Palomar College’s Women’s Basketball team raising their hands and cheering.
Image Credit — Hector Flores.

Neveah Mageo, another guard, added that learning how to play together and form group chemistry was their biggest challenge. She said that this year the team had to “rebuild everything because [they] depended so much on our sophomore class last year.”

Alaman also said that she struggled with some personal injuries. She tore her meniscus and broke her hand during the last year. Her injuries made her realize the need to “seize the opportunities that you get, because… you won’t know if you ever get to play again.”

Alaman, Valdivia, and Mageo mentioned that growing as a team will be their biggest goal. Increasing communication and pushing each other to greatness will continue to be the biggest challenges they’ll face.

“It’s a quick turnaround. And so for our freshmen, when we turn them into sophomores, the expectations go up even higher. They have to be leaders,” noted Coach Marshall.

Marshall said that she encourages the players to explore their potential and aim for their goals in order to enter the workplace as stronger women. As a coach, she believed that it was really important for the team to be player-led, not coach-led.

“If we’re coach-led, we’re going to be good. If we’re player-led, we’re going to be great,” said Marshall.

Alaman said that everyone on the team knows how much Coach Marshall cares and how much time and effort she puts into the team.

“We play for each other, but we play for her too,” said Alaman.

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A Look Inside the Women’s Basketball Team