Know the Neighbors
Gabriel York
Gabriel York helped lead the Orange Lutheran varsity basketball team to a divisional championship this season. Awarded a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona, he hopes to one day be recruited by the NBA.

Orange Lutheran basketball star Gabriel York is headed to the University of Arizona on a full-ride scholarship, where he hopes to jump start a successful career that could lead straight to the NBA.

Playing point guard and shooting guard for the varsity team, Gabe was named the team’s MVP this year, as well as Player of the Year for the 1A Division. Achieving an average of 28.5 points a game, Gabe helped lead his team to a division CIF championship in 2012.

Growing up in a single parent household, Gabe credits his mother, Deborah, for helping him succeed, on the court and off.

“My mom is my biggest influence because she sacrificed everything,” said Gabe, who had to commute from his former home in West Covina for the first three years of high school at Orange Lutheran.

“I would carpool with friends for the first two years, and then in my junior year, my mom started driving me. She made a lot of sacrifices for me to attend Orange Lutheran.”

Gabe’s desire to play basketball for Orange Lutheran began with his best friend, James Douglas, who encouraged him to enroll at the school. The team had been struggling that year, but showed marked improvement after Gabe arrived.

Focusing on becoming the best basketball player he can be, Gabe says he’s highly motivated, working out every day, including lifting weights and drilling. He also achieved a 3.0 grade point average for his entire four years of high school.

“I’ve always been a self-motivated person who does things on my own,” he said. “I believe that if you work hard, it will pay off for you in the end.”

Gabe has several mentors at school, including his English teacher, Mrs. Wakeling, who inspired him in his academic pursuits. He also credits his assistant basketball coach D’cean Bryant and Head Coach Chris Nordstrom for encouraging him on the basketball court.

“They care so much about every little thing I do. If I made any mistakes on the court, they wouldn’t let me fail, no matter what happened. It was great to have that support behind me.”

Published in the May/Jun 2012 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Written by Karen Anderson, Photograph by Jeanine Hill

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