Hard work pays off for Grazulis [Basketball]
As the No. 1 rebounder in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Allie Grazulis of Palmer knows opponents will go after her in an attempt for make a name for themselves.
Bring it, she says.
Grazulis, of Colony High fame, is up for the challenge and usually delivers a strong performance, collecting double-figure rebound totals in 14 of 26 games this season for Colorado School of Mines.
The 5-foot-11 junior forward leads the RMAC with a career-best average of 10.1 rebounds per game, nearly twice her 5.6 average from a season ago.
“It feels good,” Grazulis told me. “But it just makes me think that I need to keep working hard to keep that and keep contributing to my team. It’s a good feeling that hard work pays off.”
Just last night she grabbed 15 boards in a 78-70 victory over New Mexico Highlands. It was her fourth straight double and ninth in the last 12 games.
Her season high is 20, set earlier this season in Anchorage during a tournament game against the UAF Nanooks.
“I had my family there … it was a great game,” she said. “I just had a lot of intensity and adrenaline that day.”
It was a performance that helped her realize her potential.
“I think this year I had an extra push to chase down those rebounds,” she said. “Rebounding is a lot about position and effort and I really try to focus on that.
“Sometimes a really explosive rebound can feel just as good as sinking a shot.”
Grazulis has averaged 10.8 points this season, also a career high.
“It’s been a really fun year,” she said. “At the beginning of the year I got to come back home and play in Alaska. That was really cool.”
It just took off from there.
Grazulis hopes to return to Alaska after she graduates next spring with a degree in Geophysical Engineering. She wants to work for an oil company.
“That’s always been my goal,” she said.