Isabella Vazquez received congratulatory texts and calls on Jan. 31 for something she hadn’t done yet. The next day, she did it.
When she woke up on Feb. 1, the 5-foot-10 senior forward at George Washington High knew she needed nine points to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career and become the first girl in school history to reach the milestone.
Vazquez ended up soaring past 1,000 by scoring 27 points in Washington’s win over School of the Future. She scored her 1,000th point on a foul shot in the first quarter. For Vazquez, that was fitting.
“It was always a joke because the year before I wasn’t a good foul shooter," Vazquez said. "I worked my butt off all summer to have the same form for every shot. It was the first shot and I said [to myself] I better make this right now. Then I shot the ball and I knew it was going in. I started walking off, walking back. Everyone just went crazy.
"That whole day, I’m just going to remember it step-by-step. It’s one of my favorite days.”
Reaching 1,000 points was something that Vazquez had thought about for a long time. She went into the season knowing she had a chance after she sat down with her parents and figured out her point total.
But her path to the milestone wasn’t straight. She transferred to Washington from Archbishop Ryan as a sophomore. Vazquez said she didn’t fit in at Ryan after two years there. But ...
“I’m one of those people who sticks things out and says, ‘Let’s see,’ ” Vazquez said. “I knew I needed something else. I knew I needed a new fit, a new home.”
But where would Vazquez go? Her mother, Joan Dimeo, played basketball and graduated from Northeast, and her older brother, Isaac, graduated from Northeast. She could have followed in their footsteps. But she chose to attend her mother’s rival school.
“It kind of came down to me wanting to start my own thing and be different, be separate from my mom,” Vazquez said. “So I felt like if I would have went to Northeast, it would have been all about me following up with my mom. It’s kind of cool to be at Washington because I’m in a competition with my mom from another school.”
Vazquez will go down as one of the best players in Washington’s history. She helped the team claim two division titles during her time. The Eagles won the Public League’s American Division when she was a sophomore. They won the National Division this season. After losing to Palumbo, 68-44, on Tuesday in the Public League playoffs, Washington will compete in the Liberty Division next season. Division winners move up to the next division each season.
Vazquez, named first-team all-Public League in each of her three seasons with the Eagles, was also named to the all-Southeastern Pennslvania third team last season.
Coach Chris Reid said the school will make a banner to be displayed in the gym for 1,000-point scorers in the girls’ program. So far, the only name that will appear on the list is Isabella Vazquez’s, with 1,057 career points. She hopes she won’t be alone for long.