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Brick by Brick
Local Basketball Star is Building a Legacy
June, 2022 - Issue #211
photo by Chris Torres
photo by Chris Torres

Local 14-year-old Isabella "Jiggy" Escribano is already a viral sensation, but now gets to showcase her basketball skills at the international level.
Escribano will play for the Mexico 15U team in the upcoming FIBA U15 Centrobasket games in Puerto Rico. She was the youngest to make the team at 13 years old.
However, the teenager is much more than just a basketball player.
Escribano has developed a major clothing brand; she played under Kobe Bryant on "Team Mamba"; has shot several major commercials/webisodes; and has worked with NBA legends - all before playing a minute of high school basketball.
"Break the Curse," Escribano's clothing brand, is a WNBA-themed company that has sparked major interest in WNBA star players. The brand has also been sported by NBA players like Chris Paul and Jordan Clarkson.
It's all rooted in her love of the game. Escribano started playing basketball five years ago - her brother, Marco Escribano, is a former Golden Valley basketball standout and was the reason she got involved.
Isabella saw how happy basketball made Marco and wanted to experience that, too. As family lore has it, Marco took his sister to the park at 1am to begin her training.
Isabella's brother recalls when his sister was training with two boys doing wall-sits. Their trainer told them that whoever can last the longest will make it to the NBA. Isabella was in tears from the pain but outlasted the boys in her wall-sit for over five minutes.
"Long story short, she didn't quit and she won," said Marco. "That's when I knew she was gonna do everything in her power to make her dreams come true."
Since then, Isabella has made viral videos showcasing her skills. One video was seen by Bryant and was part of the reason she was invited to play for the Laker legend.
Marco would get to train with his sister while she played under Bryant. There was a game Bryant was known for: "Who will leave the gym last?" Isabella and her brother would stay and put in as much extra practice as they could while Bryant and his daughter Gigi worked on the opposite court.
"Obviously, he didn't leave - so we'd end up leaving," said Marco. "But we tried our best."
Isabella currently plays for the Creators on the boys' 14U AAU team under Head Coach Travis Davita.
"Marco trained with his sister while she PLAYED UNDER KOBE BRYANT. Isabella and her brother would put in as much extra practice as they could while Bryant, and his daughter Gigi, worked on the opposite court. Bryant would encourage her, saying, 'Brick by brick, you aren't going to build your house in one day.'"

"I've known Izzy for a long time, she's very skilled," said Davita. "She's been working on her individual skills for a long time. She came back to us because her skill was beyond her years but she wasn't seeing the results in games."
The head coach, like most, had plenty of praise for the point guard's ability and says Isabella is an extremely coachable player. Davita has played a great part in getting Isabella's game to the next level, teaching her more of the X's and O's of the game.
"I want to be a player who can do it all," said Isabella. "I want to be an Allen Iverson mixed with Sue Bird. I want to be Kyrie Irving with Steph Curry all mixed together."
"I have a lot of idols," she said. "But I really look up to my parents. [I see] how hard they work for our family and how they help us with everything we need. They're my role models every day."
The call-up to the Mexican national team has been on the Escribanos' list since their early days of basketball. Isabella made a dream board highlighting all she wished to accomplish and now can check off one more item.
Isabella will gear up for the trip to Puerto Rico with her go-to "Sue Bird X Kyrie" kicks this week before games start up on June 26 in the FIBA U15 2022 Centrobasket games.
The teen star will get to show the world yet again all of her talent and skill acquired from hard work, AAU, Kobe Bryant - and, of course - her brother, Marco.
"For me - getting this opportunity... I don't want to let [them] down," said Isabella.

See more community sports game coverage and features in The Signal daily in print and online at signalscv.com.
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