Sometimes, an athlete’s accomplishments off the court eclipse even their greatest moments on the field of play.
For Granite Bay senior Libby Jelinek, a year filled with highlights and game-winning shots ended with an even greater honor. Jelinek, a starter on the Grizzlies' girls basketball team that finished third in the Sierra Foothill League and lost in the second round of the DII playoffs to eventual section champ Vallejo, was recently named the MaxPreps Citizen Athlete Award Winner for the southwest region.
MaxPreps, known for its involvement in high school sports, has partnered with the National Guard to provide ten $2,500 scholarships for worthy student-athletes nationwide who exemplify model behavior on and off the field of play.
The award is meant to recognize these high school athletes who excel in all areas of life - community service, academics, athletics, and school involvement. For Jelinek, it is another outstanding honor in a season that has seen her accomplish great things.
“This is truly amazing," Jelinek said. "It feels great to be recognized, especially when it’s for doing things that I have always valued and thought were really important, like volunteering and leadership."
A forward for the Grizzlies, Libby averaged nearly a double-double with points scored and rebounds in league play, being named to the all-Sierra Foothill League first team. She was also a team captain and a leader on and off the floor for the young Grizzly squad and first year coach Melissa Triebwasser, who nominated her in March.
“Libby is an incredible person," Triebwasser said. "Not only was she a consitent and outstanding performer for us from a basketball stand point, she is also one of the most inspiring people I know. What she does in and for the community is incredible, especially when you are balancing that with multiple sports and a plus 4.0 GPA. It was an honor to coach a player and person of her caliber.”
MaxPreps and the National Guard will be making a formal award presentation to Jelinek in May on the Granite Bay campus. She is also now officially in the running for the National Citizen Athlete Award, which will be chosen by a nation wide vote pitting the 10 regional winners against each other.
The national winner’s campus will have a $500 donation given to their athletic department. Voting will take place at www.maxpreps.com beginning April 1. All 10 regional winners will have a short video on-line to help voters make their choice.