When Mountain House High held its senior awards ceremony on April 30, the Mustangs recognized two athletes — seniors Andrea Garcia and Yuvraj Dhillon — whose grades, in addition to their athletic accomplishments, stood out among all of the school’s student-athletes.
Garcia played varsity basketball for four years, and the 1,372 points she scored in that time, including three years as the team’s scoring leader, set a school record that could stand for years to come. The same is true of her single-season record of 541 points in her senior year.
She helped lead the team to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in 2016 — her freshman year and Mountain House High’s first year with a varsity team — and the Mustangs won the Trans Valley League title in her sophomore year.
All the while, she excelled in the classroom, finishing with a 4.4 GPA. Advanced Placement classes in calculus, statistics, biology and English have given her a head start on her college education. She is headed to U.C. Davis in the fall to study neurobiology and physiology with a career goal of becoming a physical therapist. She also plans to try out for the Aggies women’s basketball team.
At Mountain House High, she grew accustomed to the workload of a successful student-athlete.
“I’ve been playing basketball for so long, so I’ve gotten used to knowing when to do my homework and putting time aside for that, besides school and practice and dedicating time for basketball,” she said.
“I’m definitely blessed to have this role and I’m blessed to have other people looking up to me. All I want to do is lead by example for them and show them the right way to do things,” she added. “There’s no easy way out. You have to work hard for everything you earn.”
Yuvraj “Yubi” Dhillon carried a 3.9 GPA while playing four years of basketball at Mountain House High. In his three years on the varsity team, he was one of the Mustangs’ leading outside shooters, with a 28% shooting average for 3-point shots in his senior year. He also played soccer in his freshman year.
He emphasized that a true student-athlete has to be determined and motivated.
“A lot of teachers and coaches have pushed me to become smarter on and off the basketball court. Being able to achieve high grades and doing well on the Mountain House High School basketball team, I’m really grateful,” he said. “I’m thankful for the supportive teammates, coaches and family that have pushed me to become the student-athlete I am today.”
While in high school, Dhillon became a mentor to rising student-athletes through the Royal Kings AAU basketball club in Mountain House, where he helps his father run training camps for youngsters twice a week.
“I’m already teaching them how to be a better athlete, and I’m also giving them advice. No matter what, your grades are important. You’re a student first, and athlete second, so if your grades aren’t right, college coaches aren’t going to look at you,” he said. “First you have to be determined and motivated to finish your work at school, and then you’ve got to make sure you have the time to put in work at practices.”