This is the third installment of our ongoing and periodic Alumni Reconnect as we hope to inspire our current King High Student Athletes to dream big and plan on competing in college if that’s something you can do.
Reintroducing Steven Valiente!
Steven Valiente (class of 2014) was known on the King campus for his ever present smile and positive attitude. Steven was a natural team leader, a friend and supporter to all swimmers on the team. Before heading off to college he was a school record holder in the 200 free and 400 freestyle relays, a Big VIII league champion and CIF Finalist. Steven still returns to visit King High School and always makes it a point to stop by and say hi to the team and coaches. His spirit and work ethic helped shape a positive legacy for our King High School swim team.
What is your major? My major is Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice
Why did you choose Bakersfield? I chose this school because I took recruit trip my senior year of high school and I loved the atmosphere.
How is your athletic career going in college? At first I struggled in college … the workouts were hard my freshman year and it took a while to get used to, but as a I am in my junior year I have adapted and am doing well I keep improving my personal best times.
Editor’s Note: You can read more here
What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed in college sports? Besides the workouts being tougher, the biggest change I had to adapt to was when you do a sport in college you’re not just there to play your sport, you have to be apart of the community and the school. For example there is team community service and events your team has to go to.
What’s the best thing about college sports? The best thing about college sports is going into college already having a team and friends to show you around and to help you get started. Also I love going on travel meets its a great experiences as a Division 1 school you get to go to all kinds of different places. Our team has traveled to places like Texas, Grand Canyon, Idaho, Malibu, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz to name a few. We’ve raced top teams such as USC, Cal Berkeley, UCSD, UNLV, U of Hawaii, Stanford and UCSB.
What’s the hardest part so far? The hardest thing about college sports are the busy schedule between classes and practice, there is very little time to do any other activities.
What are your best memories from high school? Some of my fondest memories at King … I was nominated for the school’s Character Counts posters that represented my sport all over school, which was based on grades, character and competition.
The most fondest memories I’ve had at King high school were the travel meets … it was a good bonding experience with the team, it was also really fun to be apart of the sports rallies for each season.
How did King High do in preparing you for college? I feel King high school prepared me very well for college not just in sports but with academics, the way teachers run class at King is similar to the atmosphere you’ll find in college.
What’s the biggest difference between college and high school? College is different than high school because there is no one to force you to go to class or do your homework or study your basically on your own, however with college sports you have athletic advisers and your coaches are there to help keep you on track in school.
What were the best things you took away from King as an athlete? Some of the most valuable lessons I’ve taken away from King athletics would be that it taught me that it is possible to balance sports and academics, it takes discipline and patience. The coaching staff and teammates showed me that in order to succeed I need to have a positive attitude no matter how tired you are from school before practice or a meet or if you have a bad race, attitude is key for yourself and your teammates that are watching