Former Lindsay Cardinal Christina Castro becomes the second player in UC Merced’s history to join the 1,000-point club
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
MERCED – It wasn’t a question of if, but when former Lindsay basketball player Christina Castro would achieve yet another milestone. Over the past two weeks she has achieved two. Last Saturday in a 67-61 win over Cal Maritime Castro had six assists becoming the all-time leader for that stat.
However, on Saturday, Jan. 20, was probably her crowning individual achievement. Early in a 75-35 win over Pacific Union College Castro hit two triples. Shortly after the second a timeout was called, and an announcement that Castro had joined the 1,000 point club rang out over the intercom.
“It was a pretty surreal moment for me,” Castro said.
The senior guard joined Shelby Howard (2012-2016) as the only two players in the programs history to accomplish that feat. One that Castro knew she was close to fulfilling. Before this season began Castro sat at 707 career points, and was coming off a junior season where she scored 295 points.
With the milestone being so close, Castro got to work over the summer. However, for her it was business as usual. Long hours in the gym along with individualized workouts in the summer have been her routine since coming to UC Merced. Even three-year head coach Sarah Hopkins-Chery has been impressed with her work ethic.
“Even coming in as a freshman she was a big deal,” Hopkins-Chery said. “Now she has developed into the type of player that you want your seniors to be. Every single chance she gets she is in the gym.”
Castro did not become the type of player she is now over night. Instead she says it was something she had to learn. The past two summers Castro decided to remain on campus in order to work on her game. While she focused on every aspect she paid extra attention to her dribbling and shooting. The shooting aspect is definitely paying off as she is shooting 37% from beyond the three-point line. She is also only one of two Bobcats to record multiple 30-point games. One of which was 37, tying the single-game record.
That extra time has not only helped Castro in reaching milestones in scoring, but other areas as well. Currently she is the all-time record holder in steals with 178. She has 294 assists currently.
Castro is currently at 1,021 points. The all-time record for career scoring is held by Howard (1,443). With seven games left in the regular season, and depending on how far the Bobcats make it into the Conference and National Tournaments Castro will have to average 43 points a game in order to break the record. While not outside the realm of possibility the feat could not be further from Castro’s mind.
“All I am worried about is getting these next wins, and bring back another championship,” Castro said.
That goes a long way in showing where Castro’s heart is. While the individual accolades are great they pale in comparison to what the team has done. UC Merced has won the California Pacific Conference Championship, and made the National Tournament the last three seasons.
“I do what I do for my family and friends. I never forget them and what they mean to me,” Castro said. “This team that I am on there is not one thing that we could do without each other. I am not doing it by myself here.”
Still, Castro has made history in more ways than one at UC Merced with still the rest of her senior season to go. One of the most memorable came during her break out freshman season. In the last regular season game Castro hit a game winning triple to send the Bobcats to the National Tournament for the first time in program history.