Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something, but I can’t accept not trying.”
This quote means a lot to Pine View girls basketball player Saraven Allen. In fact, she uses it to help her throughout the season. And it’s that internal motivation that comes through when talking to Allen.
The junior not only attends practice after school, but she will sometimes head to the Summit Athletic Club to work on her shot or with a personal trainer. She is constantly striving to be faster. To get stronger.
That is the definition of dedication and it comes from years of involvement in athletics.
When she was younger Allen participated in dance and her parents figured they would have a cheerleader on their hands, but in second grade she wanted to try something different and Allen asked to sign up for basketball through Washington City youth sports.
The following year Allen played city hoops again. This time, someone who saw her play had a feeling she could compete at a higher level.
Utah Raiders basketball club owner Gary Tomlinson approached the Allen family and suggested that their daughter try out for his program.
“Ever since then she just fell in love with the game,” said Saraven’s mom, Rena.
Saraven has traveled throughout the United States with the Raiders, a program that has players from Richfield, Utah to Las Vegas.
The exposure the club team provides players is beneficial.
“She played in front of a ton of college coaches this last summer,” Tomlinson said. “She did a great job. … (Saraven) puts in a lot of hard work. She comes to all of our practices and she will come work out with younger kids. That is why she is going to be pretty successful. I think she is going to have a good junior year at Pine View.”
The Panthers are counting on that as the 5-foot-6 guard is hoping to lead her team to the state tournament again. Last season PVHS made its first appearance in the 3A girls basketball championship tournament in 6 years. The team finished fourth after a 49-38 loss to Carbon.
“Last year going to state was pretty exciting,” Saraven said. “It was really competitive.”
She scored 4 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 3 assists in the third-place game.
Not too shabby considering Saraven had to sit out her freshman year with a torn meniscus. Her ability to come back from injury is just another example of the dedication she has to the game.
That work ethic carries over to the classroom as well.
“She’s a smart kid,” said Tomlinson. “Usually if they are a hard worker in the classroom they are going to be a hard worker on the basketball floor.”
Saraven’s parents would expect nothing less academically out of the 4.0 student and have been impressed with her ability to balance school and sports.
“She knows that when it comes to education, that is what comes first,” said Rena.
Along with athletics, Saraven also participates in a multicultural club at Pine View, one of the most diverse high schools in Washington County. She said the club does service activities and works to become more educated on the variety of cultures represented by students at the school.
During high school when girls are usually struggling to figure out who they are and are constantly comparing themselves to one another, Saraven is taking the advice of her mom and focusing on being her own competition.
Perhaps that advice will carry Saraven through her post-high school career and possibly into the WNBA where she dreams of playing. After all, she describes her favorite player, Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore, as being a positive role model and extremely humble.
Will Saraven play professionally someday? Only time will tell and the dedication that she puts into the game she loves will have to continue. • HSSI