A trooper since the beginning, Marlene recalls being rushed to the dentist in the middle of a game during preseason, after she was elbowed in the mouth, just weeks after she had her braces removed. The impact was so great; it caused her front teeth to be pushed back into her mouth. Team members and students in the crowd that night recall hearing faint screams of pain coming from the girl’s locker room as the game continued. But this injury did not affect her in any way. Though she was out of for 3 games, Marlene showed up to school the next day with swollen face and all, continued to practice and showed up to the first game of the season, mouth guard in place, ready to play.
Marlene has been playing basketball for Costa Mesa High School since she started high school here. “I grew up playing basketball,” she said. She admits that there have been times when she feels like giving up, but she pushes herself until the end because “my team counts on me.” Team work seems to be the foundation of the girls team, as throughout the interview, never once did the humble senior build say I when referring to the successes of the team, claiming every victory was due to team work.
Though she’s been through a lot, Marlene finds light where most don’t. “My dad left me I was 2 years old, but this gave me the power to never give up. He’s a great motivator to play to the fullest every day.” She also credits her mother, who works 3 jobs to support her family of 5, but Castro does not let this affect her game. “I have that will that everyday I’m going to get through this, and just every day I play my heart out to win every game.”
This senior plans to attend Shoreline Community College in Washington where she hopes to continue to play basketball.
“Winning battle of the bell,” was the highlight of her season said Marlene. Early this month, the girls brought the bell home to CMHS with a win against Estancia of 47- 35.
This past Thursday the girls played in round one of CIF against J.Sierra. Though they did not win, the girls were not upset with the results as they put forth all their effort against this Division One school.
Marlene’s positive attitude and hard work is why The Equestrian is proud to name her Athlete of the Month. As for those who play basketball, she encourages them to “never give up, never give up ‘till that buzzer ends.”