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It's full speed ahead for La Cañada High's Courtney Chen

La Cañada junior's dedication and complete skill set made her a force to be reckoned with for the Spartans.

March 30, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • La Cañada High junior point guard Courtney Chen is the 2013 All-Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year.
La Cañada High junior point guard Courtney Chen… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

When it comes to basketball, it’s hard for Courtney Chen to take a break or slow down.

This past season, opponents were probably hoping that Chen would give them a break, as the talented point guard put together a successful season playing for the La Cañada High girls’ team.

“I really don’t like to just sit around and do nothing during basketball season,” Chen said. “You know when the NBA will be on TV or even college, I’ll be sitting around watching that and I just get this feeling like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to go out and play.’ Sitting and watching stuff like that just makes me want to play more.

“I know that there are things that I have to work on with my game and loafing around, I feel like I should be doing things to make myself better.”

Even Chen’s Spartans coach, Tamar Hill, said it’s hard for her to slow down Chen when it comes to the hardwood.

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“She is so determined right now to get better that she’ll go and ask the boys’ players if she can work out with them, just so she can improve,” Hill said. “Courtney is always at full speed on every single play, whether it’s in a game or in practice. I have to actually tell her to slow down sometimes. Every play is 100%, she just doesn’t know any other gear.”

With a wealth of exuberance and a will to improve as a player, Chen was a one-person wrecking crew this past season for the Spartans. With an impressive all-around game, Chen would frustrate opponents with her hounding defensive skills or she could make them pay on the offensive end.

With Chen leading the way — and leading the team in almost every major category — La Cañada experienced an impressive campaign. Along with advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A semifinals, the Spartans (20-9) also enjoyed a 20-win season and captured a Rio Hondo League championship.

It is because of Chen’s success that she has been voted the 2012-13 All-Area Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year by the writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun.

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