“Basketball is serious to me,” said Gupilan, a 16-year-old junior. “I even get on my teammates sometimes when they’re joking around and not taking things seriously.”
The change in Gupilan’s personality is something that has surprised Bell-Jeff Coach Bryan Camacho since the junior — along with cousins Amanda and Margeaux — transferred to the program last year from Mark Keppel of Alhambra.
Camacho said he sometimes doesn’t even recognize the player he sees on the court knocking down shots and setting up Guards teammates with crisp passes.
“It is truly a transformation for Shelley,” Camacho said. “She is definitely a jokester off the court, always smiling and giggling with her friends, and usually pulling some kind of prank.
“But when the game starts she is really serious and she goes out there and takes care of business. She turns into a tenacious player who is focused on only basketball.”
It is that focus, along with a great deal of drive and a wealth of talent, that helped Gupilan thrive this past season. Her contribution helped Bell-Jeff put together a wildly successful season.
In light of those accomplishments, Gupilan has been named the All-Area Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and La Cañada Valley Sun.
With a deep bench and a fine group of talented players, Camacho made it a habit of liberally shuffling players in and out of many of Bell-Jeff’s games.
That meant players like Gupilan rarely had to log a lot of minutes.