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Former Hawk standout Mabie to play hoops again
Mikayla Mabie
Mikayla Mabie gave up basketball to take care of her grandmother and own personal health. Mabie plans to return to the hardwood during the 2020-21 season. Mabie signed with UC Merced in June. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Mikayla Mabie planned to play basketball at Cal State San Marcos in 2018-19 but moved to Riverside after the fall semester to help take care of her grandmother.

Lupe Mendoza, 79, passed away from cancer in February of 2019.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do,” said Mabie, a 2016 Central Valley High School grad. “To see her sick everyday made me more grateful for my body and life. It made me realize I couldn’t take anything for granted. It made me grow up faster and become a stronger woman.”

Mabie plans to return to the hardwood during the 2020-21 season.

She signed a national letter of intent with UC Merced in June.

She will contribute at point guard.

Mabie, 22, will bring veteran leadership to the program.

“I committed before I saw the campus and their record,” Mabie said. “Their coach (Sarah Hopkins-Chery) made me feel comfortable during our conversations. We talked about mental health and being a female athlete. She believes in me. I’m excited to work with her.”

Mabie hasn’t played organized basketball in 18 months.

“I missed the team atmosphere,” she said.

I’m not in the best of shape yet,” Mabie added. “With time and hard work, I’ll get there again. I have high expectations for myself. I want to prove to a lot of people I’m still here.”

Mabie sought professional help during her time away from hoops to improve her mental health.

She’s been battling anxiety and depression since high school, but wasn’t diagnosed until recently.

“Seeking help was the best thing I did,” she said. “I know what’s going on in my brain now. I don’t remember the last time I was this happy. I know who I am and my struggles have made me better. I love myself.”

Mabie talked about the possibility of becoming a psychologist in the future.

She also wants to coach basketball at the college level.

“I want to be in a position where I can help young women. I want to be a role model.”
Mikayla Mabie

“I want to be in a position where I can help young women,” she said. “I want to be a role model.”

Mabie spent two years at Fresno City College prior to signing with San Marcos in May of 2018.

She enjoyed a memorable two-year run with the Rams.

Mabie had career averages of 10.1 points, 6.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

She averaged 11.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals her sophomore year with Fresno City College, which reached the Final Four of the CCCAA Tournament, compiled a 27-6 overall record and claimed a share of the Central Valley Conference crown (10-2).

She shot 46.6 percent from the field and 70.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Mabie collected 18 points, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal against Siskiyous in the NorCal Regional finals. The Rams prevailed, 95-49.

She totaled nine points and five rebounds in Fresno City College’s 65-49 loss to state-runner-up Merced College in the semifinals on March 10. Mabie was selected to the Final Four All-Tournament Team.

She was named to the CCCAA Northern California All-State Third Team her freshman year.

Mabie also earned first-team all-CVC honors.

She averaged a state-leading 7.6 assists per game for the Rams, who posted a 23-8 overall record, placed second in the conference standings and advanced to the Northern California Regional playoffs.

She had scoring and rebounding averages of 9.3 and 3.6, respectively.

Mikayla shot 44 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Mabie averaged 10.8 points and 8.5 assists per game in CVC play.

Mabie accomplished a first in Central Valley High School girls basketball program history by being named Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player her senior year.

She averaged 13.9 points, 10.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while leading the 2015-16 Hawks to an 18-8 overall record, a share of the WAC championship (11-1) and their second straight Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.

Mabie garnered first-team all-conference honors as a junior. She averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals per contest.

She was a role player with Central Valley during her sophomore year. The Turlock High transfer averaged 4.7 points, 3.0 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

“I’ve been around basketball since the moment I was born,” Mabie said. “My mom was coaching with me when she was pregnant. Without her, I wouldn’t be the player I am.”