Positive attitude, determination key to victory



Sophomore Juana Camilion had a .382 field goal percentage alongside a .259 three-point percentage in the 2018-2019 season.

Frances Hoey, Contributing Writer

Iona College women’s basketball player, sophomore Juana Camilion, has built up an impressive record in just one season so far with the Gaels. Last year she started 25 games, averaged 9.8 points and was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team.

With a new season on the horizon, Camilion is doing everything she can to prepare, working to improve her skills and control the game even more, she explained.

“I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do it better each day,” Camilion said.

For the guard, the hard work never ceases. She doesn’t take days off.

“If I have an off day, I’ll go improve my shooting or work on my dribbling. It goes day by day,” Camilion said.

In particular, Camilion explained that she is working on her pull-up jumper.

“But I want to improve overall; have a better voice on the court. The coaches told me that I have to act like a senior,” Camilion said.

As one of the team’s star returning players, she is ready to step up and take control with the confidence that last years’ experience brings.

“I feel more confident. Now I can help the new freshmen when the coaches ask a question about what we are doing since I already know the answer,” Camilion said.

One big difference this season for the women’s basketball team is the experience on the roster. Last year the Gaels were almost an entirely new team, but now they have 12 returning players.

“It’s different because most of the girls already know what to do,” Camilion emphasized. “Practices go a lot faster.”

When it comes to her role on the team, Camilion says she will fit anywhere the team needs her.

“They want me to score. We need people to score points each game,” Camilion said. “The whole team is capable.”

Camilion doesn’t disappoint when it comes to scoring either. In the team’s upset against Siena in the MAAC tournament last season, Camilion input a season-high of 26 points. She explained she doesn’t measure success by a number though.

“I just wanted to win the game; I didn’t know how many points I scored. As long as I help my team, that’s all that matters,” Camilion said.

In order to master her game, Camilion shared that the biggest key is consistency.

“I need to be consistent. Scoring points and at the same time assisting my teammates, taking charges[and] being on the other team’s best players. A little bit of everything,” Camilion said.

However, hard work isn’t the only factor in her success. When it comes to pre-game rituals, Camilion has some superstitions.

“First I put on my left sock, then my right one. My hair is the last thing that I do,” she laughed. “And right before practice, I have to brush my teeth.”

Her qualities as a player stretch far beyond her scoring capabilities. In a game last season, Camilion took a hard hit that hurt her knee. Immediately, she was subbed out of the game and just as quickly, she was back in.

“I went back in like nothing happened because I knew the team needed me, and I have to be there for them,” Camilion recalled.

Camilion hopes to set a good example and that her determination inspires her teammates as well.

“If I can help in making my teammates give 100 percent, that’s what I’m going to always try to do,” Camilion said.

While looking ahead to the upcoming season, Camilion has high expectations. The team is looking towards the MAAC Championship and beyond, she said.

“Our eye is on the prize, we want that ring,” Camilion said. “We are working really hard for it.”

To achieve that feat, the Gaels must keep up the positive energy and stay consistent on the court, Camilion explained.

“If we keep going like that, we are going to go very far,” Camilion said.