Everyone has a journey and each one is different in the basketball world. That journey can see you travel different roads. The one thing that we all know is this. These roads lead somewhere. In the case of LILY QUINTERO she hopes its leads to fulfilling her dreams of being the best basketball player she can be.
The Quintero family lives in south Jersey. I have known the Cherry Hill based family and Lily since she was in a Baby stroller coming to watch her older sister Amanda at NBS. The family lived at that time in Sayreville. Her dad Jorge was born in Cuba and her mother Dorothy was born and raised in Poland. Every Saturday and Sunday, Lily would watch her big sister with wide open eyes. These days Lily started making that same trip as her big sister a few years ago, except now it’s a 90 min ride both days in one direction alone. These days Lily is a freshman at Cherry Hill East high school. Now her biggest journey of all will begin tomorrow. Lily Quintino know she has done all she can to be ready. She has made every sacrifice to get to this point. Now she is hoping to be rewarded for all her hard work… and she will!
Lily Quintero understands what it’s like to be coached hard. She has heard me yell “run harder” to often to forget. So she ran harder than any 2nd grader should be expected. Lily has heard me say shoot more and shoot longer. So she has shot more and longer than most kids. She knows what it’s like to want to go home after 4 hours in the gym. But yet stays to get the extra shots in to separate herself from others. It’s what she knew was needed and expected to make her dreams come true. Lily has embraced competition since 3rd grade. She has developed a work ethic and desire to be the best player she could be. Lily dreams of one day playing college basketball at the school of her choice. That only happens when your a good player and Lily plans on nothing different than being a great player for Cherry Hill East one day.
Lily Quintero, has been challenging herself every step of the way during her basketball career. She has been preparing for tomorrow, it seems her entire life. That’s why she was a member of the Philly Belles as a 6th and 7th grader. She wanted real competition and next level coaching. She played for former D1 asst coach Lisa Steele. These days she plays for Books and Basketball. You see Lily and her family have been making good moves thought out her young basketball career. She has taken no shortcuts along the way. She fully understands her journey will not be like others.
Tomorrow Cherry Hill East will play their first game of the season. The first game of Lily’s career. The 5’11” Quintero will be asked to do what few freshman are asked to do. Play all 5 positions for her team. Tomorrow she will be asked to handle the ball, rebound, score and play defense. Tomorrow Cherry Hill East will ask Lily to grow up quickly. Tomorrow they need Lily to be there best player. It’s a lot to expect from a freshman. It’s also a lot of pressure on a young player. But Lily has been under pressure the day she picked up a basketball. She has always been the tallest. Everyone has always expected more from her. She has always been pushed harder than her peers. So tomorrow won’t be anything new to her. The only difference is the stage will be bigger, the stakes a little higher. Her new journey will have more twist and turns. She knows Cherry Hill is in a major rebuilding situation. But she wants to be part of it. She wants to see how far she and her teammates can take it. She knows this journey has just begun.
Lily Quintero knows it won’t be easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Lily. Yet tomorrow is what she has been waiting for. She knows that all the traveling her mom and dad in order to position her to be successful will pay off. The question is when will it start paying off? She hopes tomorrow. The long trips and sacrifices, that have come with this journey are about to be a reality…. Lily Quintero will be ready and tomorrow… win or lose she has already won… BECAUSE SHE HAD PAID THE PRICE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.