Tue, July 23

Mingus Union athlete of the week: Junior Loring leads youthful Mingus Union girls basketball squad

Mingus Union’s Darien Loring passes the ball during a game last year at home. Loring was second team All-Region in 2016-17. (VVN/James Kelley)

Mingus Union’s Darien Loring passes the ball during a game last year at home. Loring was second team All-Region in 2016-17. (VVN/James Kelley)

Heading into her third year as a starter on the varsity Mingus Union girls basketball team, Darien Loring is ready for even bigger things.

Both she and head coach Frank Nevarez that the Marauders’ extra work this summer will help her do well. This summer they restarted the summer program and open gym after it had been absent and the second-year coach Nevarez started to late last year to get them going.

“She’s been playing very, very well,” Nevarez said. “We had a summer program, we had a tournament, we also played in Sedona, she was there and really most of the girls that came out were freshmen and so she was a great leader and really took care of the ball and played very, very well and she really is a leader, I’m going to expect a lot from her this year.”

In 2016-17, she was second on the team in scoring, third in rebounds, third in assists and second in steals.

She was second team All-Grand Canyon last season.

“Last year as a sophomore she was very effective,” Nevarez said.

Loring comes from a talented basketball family.

“Her brother plays varsity and her other brother that graduated two years ago was a very, very good player,” Nevarez said.

VVN: How did the summer go for you guys?

Loring: This summer was good because we won a lot of our games and many were freshmen. It was only three juniors and at many times there was only five of us and we went down every Tuesday and Thursday.

VVN: Coach talked about getting that started and getting open gym start, how much do you think that will help the program?

Loring: Oh it will help a lot because we’re starting really early and now that we could practice more and have a feel of who we’re playing with this year.

VVN: How much does it help you?

Loring: It helps me a lot, it gets me back in the gym, every week at least three or two times a week.

VVN: Going into your junior year have you changed, trying to be more a leader?

Loring: Oh yeah, I want to be able to play with my teammates more, even the older ones and even though I’m a junior, they still look at me as a senior.

VVN: How is that been going? Is it natural for you to do that?

Loring: Yeah it’s always been a good natural thing. I always like being a leader, it’s a privilege.

VVN: What’s your favorite part about playing basketball?

Loring: Oh, I just like the games and I like the feeling of winning and I like the feeling of doing good, whether we lose or win.

VVN: What’s it been like playing for coach, since he took over last year, what have the changes been like?

Loring: The changes have been a lot better because coming into freshman year when it was a different coach then sophomore year he came, so it was like two coaches in two years. So we just had to develop and it took longer to develop more to a guy than a girl coach and it was better, I like it.

VVN: How much do you think it will help now that’s been here, instead of a new coach, having stability?

Loring: I think it will improve a lot because we get to do a lot more things because he knows us more and he knows what we’re capable of and he uses our advantage on the court.

VVN: How’s school been going for you?

Loring: It’s going good, getting my grades up, I want good grades through the whole season.

VVN: What’s your favorite class?

Loring: I like English.

VVN: How come?

Loring: We read our books and we do dialogues and I like to read and I like to summarize what the book’s about.

VVN: Have you thought about what you want to do after high school?

Loring: I want to play basketball in college if I get the chance but I’m also into baking, so I want to do culinary.