A new star rises


TCS basketball player Sara Galeano in action against Colegio Bolivar during Binationals.

Valentina Betancur, Discoverer Staff Writer

The annoying sound of the alarm begins at 5:40am, immediately followed by an ab workout. She showers, eats a quick breakfast, then runs for the bus. She arrives at campus by 7:40, first block begins at 7:55. Classes are followed by window, then more classes, lunch, and finally block 5. Classes run until 3:30, but she usually leaves at 2:00pm for training in Bello from 3:00 to 5:00. Sometimes she leaves at 3:00pm and trains from 4:00-6:00. Either way, she gets home by 7:30pm after an exhausting day, showers, eats and goes to bed by 9:00pm the latest. A typical day in the life of Sara Galeano.

Eighth-grader Sara Galeano never expected to be staring the TCS High School Girls Basketball team, but in this year’s Binationals, wearing her #31 jersey, she led the team to victory earning them an honorable third place. With only 14 years Galeano has a promising future, both coaches and players feel confident when having her on the game sheet, and April 30th, 2022 was no exception. Galeano dove for every free ball, jumped for the rebounds, and played strategically, as she does for every game, but this time it was different, it was special. That game against Bolivar School Galeano refused to spend more than five minutes off the court. The adversities she had faced through the years served as an incentive to play as she had never before.

“I love this, the essence of basketball, the challenges, trying things outside my comfort zone… it drives me every day and that is why I don’t want to stop a single day,” Galeano said.

Hard work and dedication are Middle School student Sara Galeano’s best attributes as a basketball player, attributes rare in an eighth-grade teenager. Her love for the sport made her a star on the court.

“What makes Sara great on the court is her determination, she is fast, learns fast, and adapts easily,” David Lopez, TCS girls’ basketball coach said.

A seven-year journey traveling all over Colombia began as a simple distraction. Sara never expected to become the star she is today, but her hard work led to one outcome. Galeano has been a part of four teams, standing out in all of them. Playing at TCS she first demonstrated her talent for the game. Her success led to an invitation to compete in a tournament to play for Envigado, a team she eventually left to seek greater challenges in her new Club Alpha. Which became her priority until she was recruited to  represent Antioquia.

As a player, Galeano was taught to be proud of her achievements, but never to take her eye off the ball. Last November, they told her she qualified as one of the 12 players to make up Antioquia’s sub-14 team. She began her qualifying stage at the beginning of 2022 and had to wait until the first week of November to receive the good news. She had to pass 3 cuts in order to earn a spot amongst the 12 players of the selección Antioquia.

She played her first tournament with the team the last week of November in Tunja. They disputed the finals against Bogota’s team on December third, a game they lost by one point. “I feel extremely proud because it was my first national tournament, and the fact that we got to the finals is a demonstration of the hard work we put in,” Galeano said.

Despite her long training sessions Galeano returned from the tournament and did not have time for a break. She aspires to improve as a player every day with one particular goal: “I have to be outstanding next year in the national tournament if I want to be recruited to play for Colombia’s team,” Galeano said.

Despite her early success, not everything has been a fairy tale for Galeano. One of the biggest adversities that threatened her career was her poor academic performance. Between her mind constantly thinking about basketball and being a lazy student, the academic stress got the best of her the last year. 

“I remember how towards the end of the last semester of seventh grade I spent almost every hour of my day sitting in the learning center, doing everything I could to recoup low grades in almost every subject,” Galeano said.

Although her grades were significantly low in some subjects Galeano was not failing any classes, except math. She is a strategic thinker, nobody doubts that, but her brain does not process numbers the way it does on the court. “I had to learn the tough way. Falling the class was not an option if I wanted to keep playing. There was nothing I could do but study the concepts with Lina over and over again,” Galeano said. 

After the long hours of studying and all the quizzes Galeano had to recoup, she moved on to eighth grade. On time, responsible, doing her homework, asking questions and submitting all her work, she proved to be a totally different person the first semester of eighth grade.

At 14 Sara has proven that to achieve any goal one must understand sacrifice, hard work, and perseverance. But the key to her achievements has been staying a dreamer. “What kept me going all these years, more than the love I feel for this sport is the hope that one day I’ll get to play in the WNBA,” Galeano said.