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FÚTBOL IS A FAMILY TRADITION INSIDE THE BLANCO HOUSEHOLD.
The youngest of three girls, Joseline Blanco remembers taking Nimitz coach D'Andre Wilson Gatorades during halftimes of the Cougars' games as the tag-along little sister.
VYPE caught up with the four-year starting forward as she embarks on her senior season as the Cougars' vocal leader in the 411.
VYPE: How did you get into soccer?
BLANCO: I really didn't have a choice. My dad got us all into it. He played in Mexico and was pretty good. I grew up loving the sport because of my dad and I really play for him. My parents never miss a game. He's always told me to not take it too seriously and just have fun. You never know which game could be your last.
VYPE: What are your individual and team expectations this year?
BLANCO: I want to score at least 20 goals and I want to lead our team to the playoffs. Nimitz hasn't been there in a long time. The difference this year is our chemistry. This group has a special bond.
VYPE: Soccer is your first love, what is your second?
BLANCO: I'm an animal lover. We have five dogs and we have always had a bunch of different animals. I eventually want to be a vet.
VYPE: Okay, what is your third love?
BLANCO: Definitely, Harry Styles. I listen to his music before my games and he knows how to get me focused. I'm totally in love with him.
VYPE: When you are watching soccer, who do you love to watch?
BLANCO: It has to be the US Women's National Team and Alex Morgan. She never makes a mistake.
VYPE: When you are not on the pitch, what are you doing?
BLANCO: I'm always in the gym. I love to work out. When I'm chilling, I'm watching Vampire Diaries.
NIMITZ POINT GUARD NY'ASIA VANCE IS A BOSS, LITERALLY.
The four-year letterman is a quiet leader on the court and has the total trust of her teammates.
She's also the CEO of her own clothing line – Hustla. "I love clothes," Vance said. "Most of the clothes I like are too expensive and my momma is not going to pay for them. So, I make my own."
She works with vinyl, prints off her designs, cuts them out and heat presses them to garments.
"It's gotten pretty popular around the neighborhood," she said. "I sell to friends and family, and I put my stuff in popup shops around Aldine. I have a very entrepreneurial spirit and want to build my business for the future."
The plan was hatched during the pandemic, when she had some extra time on her hands.
Hustla is still rolling, but now she laces up her high-tops and prepares for her senior season on the hardwood. She is playing for scholarships, and she takes that very seriously.
"Whatever it takes, I want to go and play in college," she said. "I need to learn more about business and basketball is the way to do it.
Like any entrepreneur, Vance has a plan.
"I want to score 10 points a game and have five assists, leading my team to the playoffs," she said. "I've improved my basketball IQ so much since my freshman year."
Basketball has been her life dating back to Little League, where she played with the boys. When she hit the AAU circuit in middle school, she started playing with the girls. Even when she's not playing, she's playing.
"I'm pretty competitive at everything I do. I love (NBA) 2K," Vance said. "I used to be all about the Warriors but now I play with the Nets. My guy is Kyrie."
Vance has made an impression on her coach as well on her way to leaving a legacy at Nimitz, the home of another legend – Brittney Griner of the WNBA.
"She really reminded me of myself when I first got to coach her," Nimitz coach Kendra Venzant said. "She's pretty quiet and shy, but once you get to know her you love her. She has been voted as our team captain for two seasons because she just does the right thing, all the time."