Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Member Alejandro Hill-Jimenez loves to play basketball for many reasons, such to reduce stress and for the competition.
“When I play basketball, it takes my mind off everything,” said Hill-Jimenez.
Last year he joined the YMCA Junior Suns Basketball League on team Spartans, which was composed of seventh- and eighth-graders. His team was able to take the All-Valley Championship, defeating the AZ Warriors and Chandler Thornton, some of the hardest teams to beat.
The team played at the US Airways Center, playing against the best teams and even some who were upper-division teams. Hill-Jimenez said, “We beat a team that was a grade higher than us.” He explained that his team was made up of seventh- and eighth-graders, and the team they defeated was made up of ninth-graders.
“During the championship against the AZ Warriors, our plan was to take all the big guys out. Once we were able to do that, by the end of the game I got four free-throws and my other teammate got two, and we just kept making them, and [that] is how we eventually won,” said Hill-Jimenez.
This fall Hill-Jimenez will be attending Mesa High School, and based on his game and skills on the court, he was drafted to play on the varsity basketball team.
“He plays pretty good, and the high school coaches even spotted him,” said his mother, Theresa Hill.
Hill-Jimenez looks forward to playing with Mesa High because of the success of their basketball program.
He said at Mesa High “they really work with you as a team. And I cannot wait to be on the team. I have been playing basketball since I was in first grade and never stopped. I am always busy, but I cannot complain. It only gets you better at basketball. To me it’s to better yourself.”
Hill-Jimenez also is currently a member of the Salt River Police Explorers. “I am thinking about one day joining the SRPD. I’m currently doing my best with being involved throughout the Community and getting to know everyone,” said Hill-Jimenez.
“This is going to be my last year with the YMCA because I will be a ninth-grader, and plus with Mesa High they keep you really busy,” said Hill-Jimenez. “I enjoy playing an intense game all the time and it’s all I look forward to when I’m on the court. I really don’t care for the games that just tend to be about passing the ball here and there; I look for the challenge.”
“This spring has been one of the best. I want to congratulate my son Alejandro and his team the Spartans on a job well done for winning the All-Valley Championships with YMCA Junior Suns,” said Hill. “I wish him the best for this new season.”