by LINDA FRABL | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Basketball Brilliance

As a 17-year-old senior at Mt. Carmel High School, Ali Engelhardt has happily resided in Rancho Peñasquitos all her life. She admitted, “I like living here because it’s such a close-knit community. I feel like I know almost everyone who lives here, even if they don’t go to my high school.” That may be because Ali is a well-known name in her neighborhood and beyond, thanks to her sensational skills on the basketball court. Three years ago Ali played well enough to be the only freshman on her high school girls’ basketball team, and this year Ali is her team’s varsity captain.

Ali has already amassed numerous accolades for her basketball proficiency. She has been named the Union-Tribune Athlete of the Week and Athlete of the Month, and the Mt. Carmel Athlete of the Year, and has twice been honored as the Most Valuable Player for the girls varsity basketball team. She has even been bestowed the Palomar League Player of the Year title. In addition, Ali surpassed 1,000 rebounds last year and is on her way to topping 2,000 total points, ranking her as one of the all-time leaders in San Diego girls basketball.

Citing her older brother, Evan, as a role model, Ali originally started playing basketball “because I wanted to be more like him,” she recalled, adding, “his work ethic and positive outlook on everything is what inspires me the most.” Ali is also encouraged on by the faculty at her school, and she claimed, “The staff has school spirit and attends all the sporting events; I can look over during a basketball game and see my English teacher in the stands, so that’s pretty cool!”

In the future, Ali would like to travel the world, own her own physical therapy business, and “have a big family… and a dog!” When she isn’t focused on playing basketball, Ali indulges in her other passions, including softball, volleyball, piano, skiing and reading. Proclaiming that English is her favorite school subject, Ali mused, “With writing, you can put your own spin on anything you do. Whereas with a math problem, everyone’s work is the same, but when you’re writing an essay, everyone’s work is different and unique to them.” Ali has already proven that she can put her own spin on something different and unique for herself, thanks to her brilliant basketball abilities.



Name: Alicia Elaine Engelhardt (17)
School: Mt. Carmel High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Jon and Cindy Engelhardt
Sibling: Evan Engelhardt (19)
Favorite Place in 92129: The McFadden’s house