By Jessica Wasserstein and Brittany Wasserstein
Led by senior Jessica Barrios with an 11-4 record, the Lady Hi-Tides basketball team currently holds a guarenteed spot for playoffs.
Barrios leads District 6A in scoring, with 27.4
points a game, and was named “athlete of the week” back-to-back weeks by the Miami Herald. In those two weeks combined, she averaged 113 points, 35 assists, and 30 steals.
“I had no idea I scored so much,” Barrios said. “I was just doing whatever I needed to do in that moment.”
Jacob Shaw, varsity girls’ basketball coach, explains this type of individual performance is truly a rare sight. “The way she has been playing lately is amazing,” Shaw said. “You only get a player like this once every ten years.”
Barrios practices on an entirely different level than the rest of her team, Shaw explains. “All you guys see us do is run stairs but you guys do not understand the extra effort and commitment Barrios has dedicated,” Shaw said. “She stays with me practicing and working out with me in my own gym.”
According to Barrios, she will practice, on average, a total of four hours a day.
“She’s confident and she expresses herself very well,” Ivy Swanes, sophomore captain, said. “She’s captain for a reason and I’m glad to have played with her.”
Born in Venezuela and playing basketball since the age of four, Barrios moved to Spain at the age of 13 where she continued sharpening her basketball skills. She then moved to the U.S. when she was 16.
Barrios explains, as a child, she was active in a variety of sports. “In second grade I played soccer, basketball, did karate, and swimming,” she said. “I had to pick one sport and I picked basketball because I was sure it was the sport I loved.”
Barrios has attracted attention from collegiate basketball teams, being recruited by Harvard, Yale, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Marshall University and Davidson College.
“It’s like a balloon of expectations that gets bigger with every offer,” Barrios said. “And that only gives me more gas to work even harder for my dream.”
Barrios is gratified for the oppurtunity to go to college for her passion, basketball, and for academics. She plans on studying engineering at whichever college she attends.
“Right now, I hope to contribute to my team as much as possible,” Barrios said. “Whatever my future comes out to be, I’m just enjoying the process and having a lot fun.”