Point guard finds basketball and school challenging

The Magnet Tribune: Courtesy of Ashley Pena
Point guard Ashley Pena drives in for a layup during a game at the Nixon gym last season.

Katherine Dovalina, Staff Writer

Tough challenges between academics and sports is part of Nixon point guard Ashley Pena’s life.

Pena, a junior said one of her goals is straight A’s.

“Personally, it’s always a struggle to get straight A’s while taking AP and Dual Enrollment classes, but it’s possible,” Pena said.

Putting academics before sports is important to Ashley.

My best game ever played was against United my sophomore year. I got a triple double which is when you surpass 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.”

— Ashley Pena

“It’s a sacrifice one has to make to be part of any extra curricular activity. We’re students before we are athletes,” Ashley said.

Pena giving her opinions n the Nixon Girl’s Basketball Program.

“I think very highly of the J.W Nixon Girl’s Basketball Program for numerous reasons. Having an undeniably committed and hardworking staff is what makes us primarily successful. As their goal is not only to improve our game in basketball, but in the game in life as well. It’s an honor to represent Nixon and Girl’s Basketball Program. Everyday is a challenge during the athletics period, but the success that’s earned overpowers the work applied,” Pena said.

Pena considers the other athletes as sisters.

“The type of relationship that’s built amongst all of us is truly unique. We consider each other sisters as we encounter various of obstacles and overcome them as one,” Pena said.

The coaching staff is a second family to Pena.

“The relationship I have with the coaching staff is quite special. I consider them my second family as most of our time is spent with each other. Whether it comes down to practices, tournaments, out of town games, etc.,” Ashley said.

Ashley wants to do academics more in the future than doing athletics abilities as she has never depended on athletics for her career.

“I’ve always dreamt of furthering my athletic abilities to the next level, however I’ve never depended on it. Making my academics my number 1 priority as one day I hope to have a successful career,” Pena said.

Pena explains her strengths she has as an athlete.

“As an athlete, one of my strengths I have is that I’m optimistic, I’m always confident towards everythingse’re phased with,” Pena said.

One of Ashley’s best games was her sophomore year against United.

“My best game ever played was against United my sophomore year. I got a triple double which is when you surpass 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. After beating United in the Border Olympics tournament we played against United South. We both met up in the championship game. It was one of the best tournaments I’ve ever experienced,” Pena said.

Pena would like to try out new positions if she wasn’t a point guard.

“I currently play the 3 man. It’s the guard that’s always to the left of the point guard, however I’d love to play the 5 man. In a nut shell, it’s the main post who rules the inside of the paint,” Ashley said.

Ashely gets most of her shots during practice drills.

“I get most of my shots from different shooting drills that are done during practice or while I’m training outside of school,” Pena said.

Pena gives her own opinion of everything.

“Overall, being a part of this program is a true blessing. It’s one of the toughest programs J.W. Nixon High School has to offer. Being an athlete is not easy, it’s in fact the complete opposite. However, every sacrifice is worth it. Life long skills are developed from managing both academics and athletes. It educates you on so much more than just a sport,” Pena said.