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Guard leans on teammates

Annabella Mireles
UTEP women’s basketball guard Grace Alvarez finds support and stability in her coaches, teammates and God.

Entering her second year as a member of the UTEP women’s basketball team, guard Grace Alvarez explains that she has built a close relationship with her teammates.   

Alvarez is a sophomore criminal justice major and is originally from Houston. She has been playing basketball since she was five years old and explains that her inspiration to play basketball stemmed from seeing her sister play. Alvarez is inspired by her sister and her parents to continue to take the court.  

“That’s kind of the reason I play basketball,” Alvarez said. “They don’t play anymore, but it’s just more like making my sister proud, making my family proud.”  

Alvarez was recruited when COVID hit, and she decided to bring her talents to UTEP because of the relationship she was able to build with head coach Kevin Baker and the coaching staff. Alvarez mentions that those she works with have always made her feel welcome. All the relationships that she has been able to build with her teammates, coaches and the people they get to meet is what makes playing basketball her favorite thing.   

“I put in all the hard work over the years,” Alvarez said. “Going to the gym with my sister, my dad, my brother and just making it to this level, it’s a very big deal. I can’t wait to see what I do after.”  

On the days when Alvarez feels unmotivated, she leans on her teammates for support. Although it means a lot to her to be a member of the UTEP women’s basketball team, there have been moments when it was hard to balance school and athletics. Alvarez explained that she has been able to find stability between the two.  

“They’re probably the ones I lean on (during) my bad days, they don’t happen often, but I lean on them a lot,” Alvarez said. “They’re really good at picking up my energy. It’s a great culture, family, everybody’s there for you.”  

When it comes to local support, Alvarez explains that it is important for the community to come out to support the UTEP women’s games because they are a women’s team. Alvarez mentions they feed off the energy in the arena.  

“It’s probably not the biggest sport that people would come to see, but we really feed off that energy that comes from the community. Pack the Don!” Alvarez said.  

With a few fresh faces to the UTEP women’s basketball team, Alvarez is excited for the upcoming season as she explains that the end goal is to win a championship.  

“We’re building great chemistry here every day, going at each other every day, competing every day,” Alvarez said. “Just excited to see what this season holds for us. We kind of didn’t make it where we wanted to be last year, but we’re definitely going to bounce back this year.”  

The UTEP women’s basketball team is set to kick off its season with a home opener against the University of New Orleans at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7. 

Katrina Villarreal is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Katrina Villarreal
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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Guard leans on teammates