Auburn Journal Girl Athlete of the Year

Obert’s a big ball-er

Del Oro grad honored as the Journal’s top girl athlete of the year
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Belle Obert has a lot to look forward to as she heads to Butler University in the fall. For now though, the Del Oro grad wants to soak up the memories she created while wearing the black and yellow. Obert’s stunning tri-sport career culminated with championship rides in volleyball and basketball, including what had been an elusive trip to Arco Arena for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Finals. By junior year Obert gave her verbal commitment to play volleyball for Butler in Indiana. She led the girls basketball team in rebounds per game, with 8.2, and blocks per game, with 5.8. Obert also put a hearty helping of points on the board, averaging 9 points per game. When she wasn’t on the basketball or volleyball court for Del Oro, Obert was jumping hurdles for the track team and playing club volleyball. She did all of that while maintaining a 4.2 GPA. While her accomplishments have been many, Obert said that probably isn’t what she will remember most about being a Golden Eagle. It’s the relationships she has built in her years as an athlete that mean the most to her. “Sports have probably been the best part of high school and not just the winning. Del Oro has very successful programs, but I have made my best friends,” Obert said. “Playing at Arco was incredible, too. I’ll forget the game, but I won’t forget everyone being there or playing with my best friends.” Many of those friendships started before high school on recreation league teams. Obert said she remembers playing basketball with seniors Becky Duncan, Madeline Campbell and Crystal Sewell in middle school. Though they went on to play other sports, Obert said they always came together for basketball season, where the Black Hole, the school’s fan group, would show up in full-force to rally them on. Obert said basketball coach Mike Takayama took his coaching beyond the mechanics of the sport. “He teaches us more than basketball. He teaches us to be good people,” Obert said. “He is just an all-around great guy. He cares about us as people, not just as players. He still takes us to lunch just to catch up and see how we are doing.” Girls volleyball coach Stuart Kageta said he will remember Obert’s nerves of steel. “She doesn’t get rattled. All of the players kind of look to her. She doesn’t have emotional highs or lows,” Kageta said. While Obert was more reserved when he first met her, Kageta said she evolved into a confident leader. “At first it was really difficult because she was so quiet, but I got to know her better and she really opened up and became a good leader,” Kageta said. “She would talk to us a lot and open up about what she saw.” Kageta said Obert also has a surprising way of attacking her opponents. “(Takayama) joked once that she’s not lazy, she’s just energy efficient,” Kageta said. “She would seem like she was moving in slow motion and the ball would move so fast it would surprise people. She made it look easy.” Selected as an MVP in volleyball and basketball, Kageta said Obert has a lot to be proud of. “I haven’t seen an athlete like her. It’s a great honor because there are a lot of really good athletes in the area the Journal covers.” Reach Sara Seyydin at ______________________________________________________ Read about the Journal’s pick for the top high school boy athlete of the year in Wednesday’s paper.