Student: Aalaysia Blakely
Year in School: Junior
Plans After High School: Aalaysia would like to attend the University of California, Davis and study to become a veterinarian. She would also like to try and play collegiate basketball.
GPS Focus: PRIDE
What Makes Aalaysia #BulldogSTRONG: In the last edition of the #BulldogSTRONG, we learned about the 1984 Hip Hop hit, “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow and the reasoning behind why hoops is his favorite sport. A lesser known fact about this 1980s Billboard Chart popping hit is the inspiration to create and produce a song focused on basketball. In an article written by Patrick Sauer called “They’re Playing Basketball,” the author indicates that according to Blow, the idea for the song came from his then-girlfriend (whom he later married), Shirley Stewart, who told him, "You need to make a song about basketball, it's the No. 1 sport for African-Americans and nobody has done it yet." As Stewart’s statement and her vision indicate, basketball is an important sport not only African Americans and men, but for women as well. For Golden Valley High School Junior Aalaysia Blakely basketball has been an essential part of her life since her days attending primary school at Bessie Owens Elementary School where she played on an all boys team for both her 5th and 6th grade years. Through those years of playing and competing with boys, Aalaysia was able to develop her skills and when she enrolled at Ollivier Middle School after 6th grade, she played for the 8th grade team (in both the 7th and 8th grade) establishing herself as one of the premiere talents in Kern County. Upon entering GVHS, Aalaysia’s reputation as a talented basketball player followed her as she was selected as a freshman to start on the Junior Varsity team and as a sophomore last year, she found herself inserted into the starting lineup for the Varsity Girls Basketball team as a point guard - a position that requires her to create shots and plays for herself and her teammates.
Aalaysia Blakely #23 has established herself as one of the more dynamic scorers and playmakers in the South Yosemite League.
The responsibility of being the pinnacle playmaker for the GVHS Girls Basketball program comes with big expectations because of the league that they compete in and for the legacies that have been created by some of the Lady Bulldogs over the past few years. First, the South Yosemite League has featured some of the most elite talent in the history of girls basketball in Kern County as evident in the following players: Erica McCall, Ridgeview High School Class of 2013, (McDonald’s High School All American, Winner of 3 CIF Central Section Valley Championships, Division 1 Player) Kahlaijah Dean, Independence High School Class of 2018 (Winner of 3 CIF Central Section Valley Champions, Division 1 Player) Jasmine Dixon, Independence High School Class of 2017 (Winner of 3 CIF Central Section Valley Championships, Division 1 Player). Second, the Lady Bulldogs have established themselves as one of the most stable and successful girls basketball teams the past few years in Kern County as they were CIF Central Section Runner-Ups in 2018 and have competed in the CIF State Tournament multiple years. Talents like Taja Holliday Ball, Elyssa Brumfield, Ayanna Dunn, and Tiffany Amos have left their mark among the greatest to hit the gym floor at GVHS over the past few years. “What makes Golden Valley High School a special place to me is the tradition of success with the girls basketball team.” With the mounting expectations of the SYL and the success of the Lady Bulldogs hovering over her, Aalaysia has been able to forge her own legacy, leaving a mark that the future of GVHS is bright, even after just one year on Varsity. As a sophomore, Aalaysia was recognized for her ability to score and create opportunities for her teammates as she was selected to the SYL 1st Team All League and received numerous All Tournament awards at the various tournaments that she and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs participated in. Statistically, Aalaysia finished the season averaging 14 points, 4.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game. Longtime GVHS Girls Basketball Coach and fixture in the Greenfield community, Kurt Wilson is optimistic about Aalaysia’s future, “Coaching her has been one of my greatest joys in the ten years I've been at Golden Valley and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her as she continues to grow on and off the court.” For the determination she has in creating her own legacy and in the genuine love she has in playing basketball at Golden Valley High School, Aalaysia Blakely is #BulldogSTRONG.
Aalaysia Blakely #23 is quick to rim and can score, pass, and move without the ball as good as anyone in Kern County.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Aalaysia: "BulldogSTRONG means to stay focused, strive to be an overachiever, and always try to maintain a positive attitude.”
What Teachers and Staff Think of Aalaysia:
“Aalaysia Blakely is an amazing basketball player and an even better person. She excels at everything she tries to do, be it school work, dance or basketball because she gives 100% percent effort. One of the best attributes of Aalaysia is how exuberant she is and the effect it has on those around her. As a sophomore she was given the responsibility of being our primary scorer and she met the occasion with her usual positive attitude. As a result of her great season, she was awarded 1st team all league by the other coaches in the league. It has been a true pleasure to watch Aalaysia's evolution as a basketball player and person. Coaching her has been one of my greatest joys in the ten years I've been at Golden Valley and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her as she continues to grow on and off the court.” Curt Wilson, Head Girls Basketball Coach, Golden Valley High School
“As her basketball coach and teacher throughout middle school and high school, I have witnessed the growth of her on and off the court. Her passion for the game of basketball is evident by her work ethic to continuously develop her fundamentals and shooting mechanics. The potential that she possesses does not go unnoticed, and I wish her the best in her student-athlete career.” Danielle Madrid, PE Teacher and Volleyball and Girls Basketball Coach, Golden Valley High School
"Aalaysia Blakely is a very determined student on and off the court. She has always been a very positive person with a great aura around her! Having her in class was a pleasure because she had a very positive mindset which allows her to overcome stress and challenges. She is #BulldogSTRONG not just because of her athletic abilities and academics but because she aspires to be the best version of herself every day.” Marshall Garcia, World History Teacher, Varsity Boys Soccer Coach, and LISTOS Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“It has been fun to watch Aalaysia grow as a student athlete these last three years. From her first game on the Basketball court to running track last year, she has shown that she is #BulldogSTRONG. I have also had the chance to have her in my class this year and she has been one of the hardest workers. I can't wait to get back to having sports on campus to be able to watch her finish off strong.” Robert Haskell, Athletic Director, Golden Valley High School
"Aalaysia is a good student in my class. She is always ready to work on her assignments. I haven't had a chance to talk to her much but the little we did let me know she is a very respectful and bright student. She is an "A" student. I enjoy having her in my wood shop class. If only I could have her working in the wood shop on campus." John Haskell, Woodshop Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Aalaysia is a friendly, outgoing, smart young lady that has raw talent on the basketball court. She is a pleasure to have in class.” Catherine Balint-Karr, PE Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Aalaysia worked hard to earn a successful grade during the first full semester of distance learning, exhibiting the qualities and academic rigor of being #BulldogSTRONG.” Terry Tripp, Art Teacher, Golden Valley High School