BOULDER — Leah DuBois is a 10-year-old basketball fanatic from Centennial who brought a homemade sign to the CU Events Center on Friday night for a marquee women’s matchup against Stanford.
DuBois didn’t root for the Buffs. She cheered on the other Colorado team. Her colorful hand-written letters on white poster board told the story: ‘Welcome home Jana, Fran and Ashten.’
“I am so in awe,” DuBois said. “It’s so cool.”
No. 2 Stanford rallied for a 60-52 victory to give the No. 22 Buffaloes their first loss of the season. Three Cardinal players are Colorado high school products — Fran Belibi (Regis Jesuit), Jana Van Gytenbeek (Cherry Creek) and Ashten Prechtel (Discovery Canyon) — whose success as reigning college national champions has inspired a new generation of youth players back home.
“It’s very empowering,” Van Gytenbeek said. “Showing little girls that they can do this is really awesome. It makes me want to play even more.”
Prechtel added: “Coming back and playing Colorado is always a tough game. But it’s one of my favorites. I look forward to it every year.”
DuBois met Van Gytenbeek through a Cherry Creek basketball teammate during the Bruins’ 2019 run to a 5A state championship victory. A friendship blossomed. And now DuBois tunes into the live-streamed Stanford basketball game.
But she joined family and friends Friday night to watch Van Gytenbeek from the third row behind Stanford’s bench.
“Her excitement level is beyond a 10,” said Leah’s father, Keith DuBois. “I was actually expecting tears.”
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Source:: The Denver Post