Recently, the Mission Saints Women’s College Basketball team played a home game against Southern California’s Harbor College. Molly Erezo, a Mission Saint, scored 15 points in the victory, including a half-court shot at the buzzer. Her teammate, Dulce Jacobo, had a record-setting 13 blocked shots.
The two women expressed their respect for their coach, Corey Cafferata, a former college basketball player who also played basketball professionally in Mexico.
“Playing for Corey has helped me to become better as I play because he has taught me to be more confident in myself,” Erezo said.
“When I get on the court, I play hard for Corey because he has done so much for me,” Jacobo said.
Erezo is currently studying Biological Science at Mission College and hopes to get into a program to become a radiology technician. Erezo is spending the holidays with her four sisters, one of whom will be cooking a lot of food for all of them.
Erezo plays guard for the Mission Saints.
According to Erezo, when she was nine years old, she lost her father to leukemia, and months later, her mother, addicted to drugs, could not take care of her and one of her sisters. So, Erezo and her sister went to a foster home. Two of their older sisters went to court and successfully fought for legal guardianship for Erezo and her sister.
“As I reached fifth grade, my sisters put me in a basketball league,” Erezo said. “Basketball is a stress reliever for me. It’s a place where I could block everything else out and not think of anything but basketball.”
Jacobo, a power forward for the Mission Saints, is studying Kinesiology at Mission College. She aspires to be an athletic trainer or a professional basketball player.
“Don’t stop playing until you hear the last horn,” said Jacobo of basketball playing philosophies she adheres to. “My high school coach, Kyle McIntyre, used to tell us to keep playing, it’s only 40 minutes of pain and you could hurt afterward.”
According to Jacobo, she is the oldest of ten children. Three of her siblings live with her biological father, and the other six siblings live with her.
“I used to live in this one-bedroom apartment with my mother, the kids and my stepdad,” Jacobo said. “When we were living in the one-bedroom apartment, my stepdad’s car got constantly broken into. We recently got kicked out from the apartment because of how crowded the apartment was. So, we applied for low-income housing.”
Now Jacobo’s family is living in a new apartment, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Over the holidays, Jacobo will make tamales from scratch with her family.
“I had to become mature at a young age to help my mother take care of my six siblings,” Jacobo said. “Sometimes my siblings need help with their homework so I try to help them. I teach them how to clean up after themselves. When any of my siblings need a ride to school, I would take them too.”