Athlete of the Week — Grayce Ujihara

8 02 2011

The Daily Journal Athlete of the Week is San Mateo’s Grayce Ujihara, who went on an absolute tear from “The Land of Plenty” last week for the Bearcats. I can’t say I am surprised. I remember Grayce as a freshmen when I was reporting for the Daily News. She had a terrific game and I remember looking at the roster thinking “dude, she’s just a freshmen? She’s going to be good.” I was right  — doesn’t happen often, but in this case, I was.

Below you will find a couple of things. One, a graphic I was working on. When we started crunching the numbers on Grayce’s week, we really crunched the numbers. And we found some pretty entertaining things which I wanted to put into a graphic. Why didn’t we print it? Well, we’re writers, not mathematicians. And because I was afraid we had done the math wrong, I didn’t push for it — although in retrospect, it would have been a nice touch.

And two, you’ll find an excerpt of the story that ran today. Enjoy, hopefully.

Ujihara erupts
By Julio Lara, Daily Journal Staff

The term “in the zone” gets thrown around a lot. And that can be a problem.

You’ve seen the term before, probably read it once or twice a week in a local newspaper — a player is hot and nearly unstoppable, it is said he or she is “in the zone.”

But then you run into a night like last Friday, in which San Mateo’s Grayce Ujihara truly was there and the term doesn’t quite do her justice anymore.

In that game against division-leading Terra Nova the senior guard went off and hit 10, yes 10, 3-pointers, scoring 39 of her team’s 66 points in a 79-66 loss, setting a new Peninsula Athletic League game record for 3’s in a game.

“The whole team was pumped,” Ujihara said when describing her team’s attitude heading into her final game at home. “That whole day at school, walking down the hallways and we saw someone it was, ‘Yeah, we’re ready. Let’s go, let’s get this game.’”

You couldn’t have written a better script for Ujihara if you tried. For four years, the guard has called San Mateo home and on Senior Night, in front friends, family and the person who held that record, her coach Nancy Dinges, Ujihara made all other “in the zone” performances seem unworthy of the title, hitting 10 of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

Her Friday performance followed a Tuesday night game in which she hit six more bombs against Menlo-Atherton in a 58-51 win.

For her efforts, Ujihara is the Daily Journal Athlete of the Week.

Read the rest of the story here.




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