Julia Trujillo is a current student-athlete for York College, and is a member of the women’s basketball team there.
Trujillo will be a senior for the Lady Panthers, and she is the starting forward. In her last season, she was able to average 15.3 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game, while shooting 82.5% from the free throw line.
While Trujillo’s story is at York College currently, and she is taking advantage of a rare fifth year due to Covid, her story started many years ago, many miles away.
Trujillo first started playing the game of basketball when she was in the third grade, while playing for a Catholic school league in Denver, Colorado, while playing for Assumption Catholic School.
From there, Trujillo would move on to play for Pomona High School. Starting all four years for the Lady Panthers, she would play well her whole career, including her senior year, when she averaged 18 points per game, to go with 6 rebounds per game.
For her efforts in her career, and more specifically her senior year, Trujillo would receive an offer to play for Trinidad State Junior College. While there, it was more than just about the game for her, as she began to care more for her health while in college.
“When I got to college, I started being more health-conscious,” Trujillo said. “I decided to put myself in a learning position to really work on losing weight. Since entering college, I have lost over 62 pounds, and that has truly elevated my game!”
While at Trinidad, Trujillo was able to learn some valuable life lessons, those of which would translate for her both on, and off the court.
“Coach D (Destiny Bragman) was a big reason for me becoming the person that I am today,” Trujillo said. “I would say that 95% of the confidence that I have, it came from her and the words of encouragement that she poured into me.
“She knew what I could do as a player, and she also trusted that I could become even better. There was one point that I wanted to quit and she asked me to go on a ride with her. That ride really changed things for me. She made me feel loved and that she cared.
“She also reminded me why I started playing, and that was huge for me. I am such a different person and player because of what I have gone through as a basketball player, especially at Trinidad.”
While there, Trujillo felt as though that she not only had found a place to play basketball, but also a second home.
“It has truly been an honor to have played there,” Trujillo said. “I found a home there as a player, but I also found a great friend in Coach D. That is all anyone can ask for. She was such a big part of my recruitment and I am forever grateful for her.
“It means so much to me that she gave me an opportunity to pursue my collegiate dreams, and to do so on scholarship. I am proud to be able to say that, because there is a trust and a connection between us that was built over those two years together.
“I love that I have found a coach that can be a resource for me personally, and professionally, and I look forward to talking with her in the future, when I begin my coaching career.”
After receiving her associate’s degree at Trinidad, Trujillo was fortunate enough to move on to York College, and complete her final two years there. After recently graduating with a Sports Management Degree, she is not quite done yet.
“Due to the Covid eligibility, I am not done yet (laughs),” Trujillo said. I will play my final year here, and in doing so, I am going to get a master’s degree in Global Leadership and Organization. This year will be huge for me personally, as well as on the court.
“My sister, Sophia, is actually transferring here for her junior year, so it will be great to be able to play with her. I also plan to soak up all that I can, because not many get to play their sport for a full five years, while never taking a redshirt season.
“Once the season ends, I have been honored to be able to accept an opportunity to coach here, thanks for Coach Minijarez. My entire goal was to find a school to further myself by playing ball, getting an education and begin coaching. I have checked all three off!”
As always, Trujillo won’t be done there, as she plans to leave York College after she is done coaching, and join the Kronke team in Denver, back home, and use her degrees within their company. She also does not plan to step away from basketball entirely.
“I want to coach a girls club team,” Trujillo said. “I want to teach them the importance of not just hard work, but the importance of health, both physically and mentally. I have worked so hard to get where I am, and I want to pour that into them.
“I wish that I would have realized how important those things are sooner, but that just helps my journey to be able to teach young women the right ways ahead of time. The goal is to get them to college and open up their world to opportunities that are out there.”
With all that she has accomplished, Trujillo feels as though that if not for the game of basketball, she would not be where she is personally, and professionally.
“I have met some amazing people, and forged great connections,” Trujillo said. “I owe that in full to this game. It has changed my life in ways that I will never fully be able to explain, but I thank God for the blessings that he has allowed basketball to bring me to.
“I am excited for this final season personally, but also as a team. I love the school I play for, and ever more so, the coaching staff. Although the junior year version of me would be shocked to hear this: I found a home here in York, Nebraska, that I never saw coming.”
No magtter what endeavor that Trujillo decides on, or what may come her way, we are confident that she will, like always, find a way to succeed and be great at it!