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Spectacular senior Ashley Paul says so long

No stranger to athletics, senior Ashley Paul’s love for basketball began in the fourth grade. In addition to being a Second Team All-SCIAC selection in basketball, Paul is also a three-time First Team All-SCIAC honoree in softball. She was a member of both the Leopard softball and basketball teams that both clinched tournament titles in 2008. / photo by Victoria Castaneda

Daniel Hargis
Associate Sports Editor

After being involved in sports almost her entire life, senior basketball and softball player Ashley Paul no longer has another season to look forward to.

Whether it was basketball, baseball, or softball, the movement and sports science major has been involved in athletics since a young age.

Paul always found success whether on the court or on the field, starting from a young age and continuing on into college.

Over the past four years, the senior has left a legacy that is seemingly untouchable: Paul has been a part of seven Southern Cali­fornia Intercolleg­iate Athletic Conference Tournament teams, winning one of three in basketball and two of four in softball, and four NCAA Tournament teams, one in basketball and three in softball.

“I’ve had the greatest experience, I couldn’t ask for more,” Paul said. “My teammates, coaches and professors are super nice and supportive.”

The Glendora native has been a standout on both teams; garnering Second Team All-SCIAC on the court.

Paul is also a three-time First Team All-SCIAC shortstop until receiving Second Team honors after her senior season.

During her first three seasons, she also was decorated as a three-time All-West Region athlete.

Statistically, Paul has found success, finishing her career on the court as a 1,000-point scorer and the all-time La Verne leader in three-pointers made with 193.

To top it all off, she has recently been named the Nancy Blickenstaff Spirit of La Verne Award winner for 2010-2011 year.

It appears that it takes an extraordinary athlete with a perfectly functioning body to achieve such success, but that is hardly the case.

Paul suffers from a lung problem that only allows her lungs to have 80 percent of the capacity of healthy lungs, which prevents her from enduring continuous amounts of high-level activity.

“I’ve had it all my life doing sports,” Paul said. “It’s frustrating at times. I want to go more but I just can’t.”

Moreover, her favorite sport of the two is basketball, which she began playing at age nine in the local Glendora youth leagues.

Paul’s preference is ironic, but it only attests to her character as an athlete.

“She hardly ever missed a workout,” head strength and conditioning coach Matt Durant said.

“Out of four years, she missed less than a handful of workouts. She came and worked out even in the summer.”

During her sophomore year, Paul worked on her conditioning and pushing her heart rate past what doctors said was possible, attempting to prove that her lung problem was not a problem at all.

As each week went by, Durant helped raise Paul’s heart rate to almost 180 beats per minute, something that doctors never believed could happen.

The 21-year-old began her sports career at age six as a baseball player, playing tee ball with boys through the seventh grade, and was even named to the All-Star team.

Paul finally began playing softball when she enrolled at Glendora High School.

In high school, she was a three-time All-Sierra League recipient in each sport, but only planned on continuing her career as a basketball player.

“Julie Kline told me she played softball too,” head softball coach Julie Smith said. “She came to the first meeting in the fall and even afterwards she was unsure. On the field I first saw her and thought ‘Wow, she’s pretty special.’”

Paul will graduate with a bachelor of arts in movement and sports science, but hopes to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s in business administration.

In the future, she hopes to one day coach basketball or softball at the high school level and one day, even the university level.

Paul is well on her way, having already helped run summer camps for both the women’s basketball and softball teams at La Verne.

“She’s got a great sense of what it takes to be successful,” Smith said.

“She knows how to be a team player, she can teach fundamentals and she has the patience and persistence to teach the game and she can bring it all together. She’s fun and very loyal. She’s got a deep sense of caring personally for those around her.”

Daniel Hargis can be reached at daniel.hargis@laverne.edu.

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