Girls' Prep Player of the Week : East Doubles Her Fun With Soccer, Basketball

Times Staff Writer

Alicia East is a three-sport star at Orange High School. The only complication is that two of those sports, soccer and basketball, are played in the same season.

A problem? Not for East--she manages to play both.

"I've played soccer for seven years, and it's my favorite sport," said East, a 5-foot 11-inch senior. "But I really love basketball too. I wanted to be a part of both teams."

East, The Times' player of the week, is a big part of both.

East, a goalkeeper, made 10 saves to preserve a 2-2 tie against El Modena Thursday afternoon. That evening, she set single-game school records for points (43) and rebounds (19) in a 58-54 basketball loss to El Modena.

"I really didn't realize I had scored that many points," said East, who plays volleyball in the fall. "I was just concentrating on my rebounding. I thought I had scored somewhere in the 20s. When they said I had 43, it really shocked me."

East, a three-year starter in basketball, has been able to balance time between the two sports with the help of understanding coaches--Bob Gunther in basketball and Phil Avalos in soccer.

Her schedule calls for basketball practice four days a week and soccer practice one day.

"Coach Avalos knows that I've been playing goalie for seven years and know as much as I'm going to know about the position," said East, who didn't play soccer last season. "He saves the defensive workout for the day I'm there. I'm not really needed the rest of the time."

Said Gunther: "Initially, I wasn't exactly excited with the idea. I thought there might be possible conflicts with games. But Alicia told me if there was a conflict, she would choose basketball."

East has missed two soccer games this season, when the Panther basketball team was involved in tournaments.

It isn't a matter of preferring basketball, it's that East thinks she's needed more on the court.

"Our soccer team has a strong defense, they can survive without me," she said. Orange (5-0-2) won both games East missed.

Alicia East

Orange High School

Position: Center/Goalie.

Height, Class: 5-11, Sr.

Last Week: Set single-game school records with 43 points and 19 rebounds against El Modena.

Season: Averaging 17.8 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Is the goalie on the soccer team.

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