Lian Aviles ’23 Shares her Basketball Journey

Some seniors are finalizing their college sports commitments as the winter season starts. Varsity basketball athlete Lian Avilés ‘23 has recently announced her commitment to pursue basketball at Franklin & Marshall College. With juniors joining the sports commitment process and underclassmen considering whether they want to take their sport to the collegiate level, I decided to inquire about Lian about her basketball commitment journey.

The Holderness community is more than proud of Lian after making a comeback from her knee injury last year. Plenty of athletes go through an intense injury such as this and lose their motivation and love for their sport. Lian, however, found her drive through this challenge. While there were tough moments of doubt, wondering if she could ever play basketball again, she stayed resilient and didn’t let her injury limit her from playing hard over the summer and into this year. Her story of grit and how she pushed through hard times on and off the court were significant factors in the appeal Franklin & Marshall College had for her as a player.

With a season-halting injury in the middle of a crucial time for high school athletes, her junior year season, Lian knew she had to stand out in summer tournaments to get coaches’ attention. So to prove herself, she worked hard throughout the seven summer tournaments she competed in. Lian rose above and beyond in a high-pressure environment where coaches constantly watched her. By her second tournament, the Franklin & Marshall College coach reached out to her to discuss her story and love for basketball. Unsurprisingly, the coach was blown away by Lian’s work ethic and determination, on and off the court. It wasn’t long until she was offered and later accepted a spot on the team. When inquired about what drew her to F&M, Lian responded that the most attractive thing about the school was how friendly and welcoming the team and coaches were: “The people there really remind me of Holderness.” 

Some may wonder, how do you know you want to pursue sports in college? For Lian, it was always a no-brainer. Having played basketball since she was five years old, she has always loved the sport. With her family’s history in basketball, the inspiration they always provide, and the safe environment she discovered through the sport, Lian has found an unmatched love for basketball and a motivation to make her family proud. 

Lian’s advice to any students who may be intimidated by pursuing college athletics is not to be afraid of the process. Working hard on and off the court or field will get you to where you need to be and prove your determination to scouts. More importantly, however, Lian urges everyone to trust the process. Moments of uncertainty are guaranteed for any aspiring athlete, but the best thing you can do to stay looking ahead throughout the process is to trust yourself and all the hard work you have put in. 

Lian’s journey is a perfect example of pushing through obstacles and having faith that things will work out in the end.