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Duran has matured quickly for Estancia

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sophomore point guard had huge game against Costa Mesa, lifting Eagles to a dramatic win.

February 03, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Estancia High sophomore point guard Celia Duran is the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week.
Estancia High sophomore point guard Celia Duran is the… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Celia Duran comes from a hard-working family.

Duran enjoys talking about her mother, father and brother. Then again, there isn't much Duran won't talk about.

She is candid and smiles often. A 20-minute interview quickly turns into nearly an hour with the Daily Pilot's High School Athlete of the Week.

Before the interview, Estancia High girls' basketball Coach Xavier Castellano told Duran to be humble in what she says. This was not a problem for the Eagles' sophomore point guard.

Duran's father, Marcos, works in construction, as well as at a local laundromat. He's also a drummer in a norteño band. Her mother, Aurora, works double shifts at an Italian restaurant in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

Celia, 15, also recently started working weekends at Cucina Alessa in downtown Huntington Beach. She works as a hostess on the weekends, sometimes with her mother.

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"I like my job," she said, laughing. "I get to talk to people."

Free time is rare in the Duran family. Celia often has to bring her little brother Luis, a fourth-grader at Rea Elementary, to the Estancia girls' basketball practices.

She is proud of her brother, who was recently named Student of the Month at Rea.

"Everything is so easy for him when it comes to education," Celia said. "I have to work really hard to get good grades, but sports were always so easy for me. I might not beat you at writing an essay, but I'll beat you at a sport. We were joking with my Mom, 'You have your little nerd, and you have your little sports girl.'"

Celia should not sell herself short. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. When her brother was very young, she was already teaching him.

"He was a fast learner," she said. "He started talking when he was really young. As soon as he was able to talk, I grabbed him. I had a little white board and my little Expo markers. I'd sit him down and I'd write a word with three letters. [I'd say] 'this says this, and this says this.' By the time he was about 3, he knew how to read. I would teach him every little thing."

Marcos and Aurora should be proud of their daughter for several reasons. She has quickly learned how to play point guard at the varsity level, and they've definitely seen her turn in some standout performances lately. Marcos captured the first Battle for the Bell game Jan. 24 at Costa Mesa on video.

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