A dream is coming true for Laura Jimenez.
A standout water polo player at Montebello High, the four-year varsity star signed a letter of commitment for a full scholarship and to play at the University of Michigan at a small surprise ceremony on Tuesday.
Jimenez said she wasn’t expecting all the attention and added she is happy to be going to play in Ann Arbor.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I’m thrilled. It’s something new.”
She added going to the University of Michigan has always been a dream of hers.
“Since I was little I’ve always wanted to go out of state,” she said. “College is always my goal. I want to continue playing water polo as well.”
Jimenez also added she believes she is deserving of this honor.
“I’ve worked very hard. I’ve made sure I’ve had my parents behind me,” she said. “And to do well in school I’ve always put that first before sports. I worked hard at sports, as well, and I made sure I reached my goals.”
And as far as life in the classroom goes, Jimenez said she already knows what field she wants to pursue in college.
“I want to study civil engineering,” she said. “I grew up with my father, who would work side-by-side with engineers. So, he introduced me to the world of engineering and I really enjoyed it.”
Her aquatics coach from the City of Commerce, Kevin Larsen, said Jimenez should do well at Ann Arbor.
“I’ve coached her for the last 10 years,” Larsen said of Jimenez. “She’s a really hard worker. She loves being in the water. Every day she comes in and works hard and tries to outdo herself. I’m proud of her being able to go get an education and play for Michigan. I think she’s up for the challenge.”
Jimenez is known for her prolific offensiveness in the game and boasts a talent very rare in water polo as she is ambidextrous in the pool.
She is able to shoot with both her right and left arms and that has contributed to her significant stats as about 60 percent of her shots are goals. Moreover, she has scored about half of the team's overall goals, led the team in assists and is second on the team in steals.