Jelinek earns national recognition for citizenship, sports

Granite Bay senior honored for school, hoops and service
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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One Granite Bay High girls’ basketball player was recognized this week for her work on and off the court. 


After a season that took the Grizzlies into the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Libby Jelinek of Granite Bay High School was selected to receive the first ever MaxPreps National Citizen Athlete Award for the 2009-2010 school year.


As one of just 10 players in the nation recognized as finalists, Jelinek represented the Southwest Region. She received the National Guard Citizen Athlete trophy in addition to a $2,500 scholarship check from MaxPreps. She was the female winner of the national award.


The Citizen Athlete award recognizes high school students that exemplify positive values and demonstrate leadership in all areas of life including community service, academics, athletics and school involvement.


In her first year of high school ball, Jelinek received the Coach’s Award.  As a junior she was awarded the Advance28 Athlete of the Year Award and as a senior named first team all-league as well as the Grizzly Award for exemplary sportsmanship.


Now, the senior is preparing herself to graduate high school. Jelinek will attend the University of San Diego with plans to major in English and Political Science.


“Receiving this award is a huge honor,” Jelinek said. “I've always believed in leading by example and receiving the Citizen Athlete Award showed that all my activities and community service has really made a difference.  I'm also really happy to have the opportunity to help give back to my school's athletic program which has given so much to me throughout my high school career.”


Jelinek began her basketball career in second grade in the Granite Bay League.  Her father Tony and older brother Andrew used to play basketball in their driveway and Jelinek said she just fell in love with it.  


“I loved competing in games, having fun with my team or just shooting in my driveway as a way to unwind,” Jelinek said. “I absolutely loved my time in Granite Bay High School basketball.  I've had some unforgettable experiences with my teammates like team dinners, parties and sleepovers.  Performing in lip sync together, making it through athletic PE and winning and losing as a team all made my four years in the program amazing.”


The forward played three years of varsity basketball at Granite Bay, with her final year coming under the leadership of coach Melissa Triebwasser. In her last two seasons the Grizzlies were a combined 16-8 in the SFL.


“Libby was a great leader for us,” Triebwasser said. “She was a unanimous choice for captain and somebody that I definitely wanted to represent what my team was about.  She’s a very modest kid. When she made a gamer winner I couldn’t even find her after because she hit the shot, said goodbye to everybody and left. To be recognized on a national level is very exciting because it’s not something she asked for, but something she certainly deserves.”


Outside of 11 years of basketball, Jelinek also plays club soccer.   Before high school she attended camps like Sly Park, but has only played for school teams Cavitt Jr. High and Granite Bay.


She holds a 4.3 GPA on top of a commitment to the National Charity League.  Since seventh grade she has volunteered in the organization including the Special Olympics, playing music for residents of Sierra Hills Care Facility, working at various soup kitchens and helping out at the Granite Bay Library.


An active Lifeteen member and lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation, she is also the recipient of the Scholar Co-Curricular Award and the Junior Academic Merit Awards Double Gold. 


Just in case she is not busy enough, Jelinek is also the copy editor of the GBHS Yearbook, a member of the Dead Poet’s Society Club and spent three years playing the flute in the Emerald Brigade Marching Band.


The list of involvements, standouts and accomplishments continues to grow for Jelinek.  Two athletes that know this first-hand are junior teammates Laura Preston and Shelbi Tooley.

According to Triebwasser the standards Jelinek set for younger players will resonate deeply into the program. As two of  the Grizzlies’ standout junior athletes Preston and Tooley appreciated such a teammate and friend.


“She always had a heart and dedication on and off the court, always putting all of herself into whatever she was involved in,” Preston said.  “I got to know her a little better this season and got to joke around with her.  She’s just such a genuine person.  She embodies the definition of a student athlete.  She works harder than anyone I’ve known on the court and that transfers out to her school work and community service.”


Preston and Jelinek met when she was a freshman in the school’s basketball program.  Jelinek played junior varsity and Preston for the freshman team. Having just met her last year Tooley also was taken in by the ever-welcoming senior captain.


“She supports me in everything,” said Tooley.  “I play lacrosse and she was at my game last night watching.  She just cares about anyone and everyone. As a basketball player she’s there to always bring everyone up when they’re down. I depended on her a lot because she was always the one to be there and say ‘Everything is going to be okay.’”


There will be large shoes to fill in the Grizzly basketball program next season.  The 5-foot-11 forward/guard imparts a captain role, a near double-double average and a legacy of memories.





About Elisabeth Mary Jelinek (Libby)


Granite Bay High girls basketball


MaxPreps/National Guard National Citizen Athlete

Born March 26, 1992 (18 years old)

Family:  Sue and Tony, older brother Andrew (20)

Favorite GBHS moments: “ My favorite moment was probably beating Roseville on a buzzer beater. And our senior night against Woodcreek was awesome. The whole team played really well together and it felt like we couldn't miss.”

Biggest basketball achievement: Being named First Team All-League

Role model: “My family members are my role models. I look up to my mom, dad, and brother and know I can always count on them for support.  Without them I wouldn't be who I am today.”

Favorite athlete:  Luke Harangody, Notre Dame basketball player

If you could play against any professional basketball player, past or present, who would it be? Pistol Pete Maravich

Favorite basketball team: Kansas Jayhawks. “I like watching college ball a lot more than the NBA or WNBA.”

Signature basketball move:  Pull-up jumper

GBHS basketball legacy:  “I want the basketball program to continue to grow and for my teammates to always remember their love of the game and to have fun while working hard.”

Favorite movie: Juno

Favorite book: The Book Thief