ANTELOPE, Calif. (KTXL) — Even with the possibility that there will be no high school sports played in California this season, some student-athletes are fortunate enough to secure a college scholarship, such as Antelope High School senior basketball player Jzaniya Harriel.
She doesn’t know if she’ll get a chance to have a senior season at Antelope High just yet, but the 5’10” guard does know she’ll be taking her basketball talents to Stanford University, one of the top programs in the country, next year.
“From what I knew, I liked Stanford, but when I got to campus, it was everything and more than I thought it was going to be,” Harriel told FOX40.
Harriel has been the best girls basketball player in the area for at least the last two seasons, leading the Titans to back-to-back section titles.
She said her dream of playing for the Cardinals started to take shape when the coaching staff came to watch her play during her sophomore season.
“I think I had like, 32 points, and I shot a half-court shot and made it at the buzzer, so it was crazy, and then I’m like, ‘It’s getting serious,'” she recounted.
“It’s going to be life-changing not only for herself but her family, her younger siblings, everybody who follows behind her,” said Sean Chambers, Harriel’s coach.
Chambers first heard of Harriel’s talents on the court from her brother when she was only in fourth grade.
“He said, ‘You really got to see my little sister; she’s going to be pretty good,'” Chambers remembered. “He understated things. She’s better than good; she’s been spectacular.”
Chambers has coached Harriel from that moment on but insists it’s what’s inside his star player that has given her this incredible opportunity.
“As coaches, club directors, trainers, we are tools to help them get there, but ultimately, it’s what she does, and her efforts, her energy, her desire gets her to these places,” he said.
“I love being challenged and having to compete, and I know there — in the classroom and on the court — I’ll be able to compete in a friendly environment and get better as a person on and off the court,” Harriel said.
Speaking of academics, Harriel excels there, too. She has a 4.75 GPA at Antelope and even hopes to become a judge someday.
“I feel like with me being in that position of power, I can make the slight of bit of difference that can spark a change in the world,” Harriel said.