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The Musical Athlete: Jaguars' Izzy Lopez

The Musical Athlete: Jaguars' Izzy Lopez
Posted on 12/26/2018
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By Alissa Noe
Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 1:35 pm

She may be small, but D’Evelyn senior Izzy Lopez has become a workhorse with a big heart that her basketball coach, Chris Olson, has come to rely on.


Lopez serves as the Jaguars’ (7-1 record so far this year) captain, shooting guard and forward as she boons her team as one of its best three-point shooters and rebounders. And, no, it’s not because she has major hops.


“We’ll run plays for her to post up, believe it or not,” Olson said. “She’s 5-2, maybe. She can’t jump. She’s just so crafty. She’s one of those kids that when the ball goes in a rebound, these kids run in. Izzy goes over here (away from the others), and the ball comes right to her. She understands angles and understands the game so well.”

That high IQ isn’t just limited to the basketball court.

In the classroom, Lopez averages a 4.16 GPA, which she bolsters with various AP courses — including four this year alone. That kind of academic success, coupled with her many extracurricular activities, recently earned her an acceptance letter from Yale.

“It was scary,” Lopez recalled. “I opened my e-mail and it said, ‘You have a decision’ in their campus portal thing. I opened it and my hands were shaking. I was surprised because I didn’t think I would ever get in there. It was a happy day.”

Although she’s still waiting to hear back from Stanford, Rice, Case Western, Northwestern and Denver, she decided she’d probably go to Yale if (and now when) she got in. There, she plans to major in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.

The hard work associated with those studies is nothing she won’t be used to.

In her last four years at D’Evelyn Senior High, Lopez has played basketball, dabbled in soccer, played trumpet for the marching band and does volunteer work with the school’s Interact Club.

In marching band, Lopez serves as the section leader for high brass, meaning she teaches the younger trumpeters how to march and makes sure everything is running smoothly.

In this year’s show, she also had two solos. The band won the state championship three out of her four years and was runner-up the other year.

Over time, she’s learned to balance her workload to make sure she gets everything done.

“I’m kind of a procrastinator, which is kind of surprising,” Lopez said. “I stay up pretty late doing homework, but I don’t really watch TV or anything, except for on weekends. It’s pretty much practice, then homework and school.”

As a leader for both basketball and band, Lopez has learned to channel calmness under pressure, which will no doubt help her in her future endeavors. With the spring sports season just around the corner, she’s thinking of trying out track just to “mix it up.” She hopes to compete in the shorter sprints.

Wherever Lopez ends up next year, her time at D’Evelyn will surely prepare for anything life may throw at her.

“What I’ve always loved about Izzy is you get what you get. You know what you get every day. She works hard and has fun playing and is very dependable,” Olson said. “Wherever Izzy goes, she’s going to do great. She gets along with all kinds of people. She’s self-motivated. I don’t worry about Izzy anywhere.”