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Calderon concludes hoops CVHS career
Julie Calderon concluded her varsity girls basketball career with Central Valley High School on Thursday, Feb. 19.

The standout guard had 18 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals and one block in a 56-43 Valley Oak League season finale loss to visiting Ceres High School.

"It's really emotional," said Calderon, who fought back tears during her final postgame interview. "I've built so many relationships with girls on the team. We were crying at practice, and before and after the game."

Julie averaged 13.3 points per contest over three seasons.

"It went by really fast," she said. "I had a lot of fun. I don't have any regrets."

"She was a huge asset," Central Valley head coach Jesse Padilla said. "When she talked, the girls paid attention. She was a second coach on the floor."

Calderon averaged 12.7 points, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game on her way to earning second-team, all-conference honors as a senior for Central Valley, which compiled a 6-21 overall record and finished in last place in the VOL standings (2-12).

She ranked third in assists (2.9), and fourth in scoring (14.3) and blocks (1.0) in conference play.

"As a player, I didn't want to be too selfish," Calderon said. "I contributed to the team as much as I could."

Julie tallied 329 points, 86 assists, 61 steals, 27 rebounds and 24 blocks in her final season with the Hawks. She shot 40 percent (134 for 335) from the field, 40 percent (28 for 70) from 3-point range and 58 percent (34 for 59) from the foul line.

Calderon scored in double figures 14 times. She averaged 19.8 points per contest against the top three teams in the VOL (East Union, Sonora and Ceres High). Julie totaled 45 points in two games against the first-place Lancers. She scored 33 against the runner-up Wildcats and 41 against the third-place Bulldogs.

Calderon registered season-highs in points (27), steals (eight), assists (six) and blocks (three) during the preseason.

Julie averaged 12.3 points, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game on her way to being named to the VOL first team during her junior year.

She helped Central Valley (6-19, 2-12) secure its first-ever conference victory on Jan. 22, 2008 when she buried a turnaround jumper from near the free-throw line as time expired to upset Manteca.

The 44-43 road win snapped a 20-game losing streak. Calderon totaled 22 points, three steals and two assists.

Julie earned honorable-mention accolades as a sophomore thanks in large part to her offensive prowess (15.0 ppg). She led Central Valley (2-21, 0-14) in scoring for all but one game.

"Her personality is great," Padilla said. "She never talked back once. She's just a special player. She could take control of games anytime she wanted to."

Mike Girardi, head coach of Modesto Junior College women's basketball, watched Calderon play a handful of times this past season. He'd like to add the hard-working, sharp-shooting gym rat to his lineup.

"I'm keeping them in mind," Julie said.

Calderon's leadership will be greatly missed in 2009-10 as Central Valley's girls basketball program begins a new era.

"She's a one-of-a-kind player," Padilla said. "Her work ethic and the way she communicated with the girls. She was a great team leader. She's going to go on to bigger and better things."