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Westview senior leaves finesse to others

12/15/2012, 1:58pm PST
By Terry Monahan

But away from the basketball court, ceramics are her passion


Westview senior Ty Wheetley-Amaya earned first-team All-Palomar League honors last season.

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There was a time, a few years ago, when Ty Wheetley-Amaya was playing a number of sports, except the one she really wanted to try.

But her parents scratched the idea of their daughter even attempting to play football.

“That seemed like the perfect sport for me,” Wheetley-Amaya said, seriously. “I tried football at a summer camp one time, but I don’t think my parents wanted me strapping on a helmet and playing football.”

So the 5-foot-8 senior at Westview High kept on with all her other sports before eventually deciding on just one.

Track and volleyball were out.

“There wasn’t enough contact for me,” she said.

What she wound up with was basketball.

Question: Was that a difficult decision to be a basketball player only?

Answer: No, not at all. I decided to concentrate on basketball and just see what I could do there. It just made more sense to do basketball.

Q: With just one sport, did you find yourself with more free time?

A: I thought I would, but I really didn’t. I found myself playing even more basketball than I was before.

Q: Your style on the court is a bit different from most girls, isn’t it?

A: As much as I’d love to be a finesse player, I’m really not. I like going to the hoop too much for that. I’ll shoot some 3’s now and then, but that’s just to open up the driving lanes a bit. I’ve always been that kind of player. Basketball is a contact sport after all and that’s more my style.

Q: What was it like to be on the team in 2011 as a sophomore when Westview defeated its rival Mt. Carmel for the San Diego Section Division II title, the first one in school history?

A: That was really cool. I wasn’t the smoothest player back then, but I got to play in the game. Best game of my life.

Q: What does winning a CIF title do to expectations?

A: Your goals are suddenly a lot higher and every team you play really comes after you hard. It was harder than I thought it would be to play that next season with a big old target on our back.

Q: With all the basketball you play, is there time for anything else in your life?

A: I own my own ceramics business.

Q: What’s the name of your company and where is your studio?

A: Tyceramics.com. I built a studio in our garage.

Q: How did you get interested in ceramics?

A: I took an intro class at school and kind of liked it.

Q: What was the first piece you made?

A: A medallion. I still have it. Organic vases are my favorite.

Q: Isn’t ceramics a lot different from basketball the way you play it?

A: To me, it’s the same. You still have to totally focus on what you’re doing. It’s very calming for me to work in the garage, say, an hour or so before practice.

Q: Are people surprised you’re interested in ceramics?

A: The looks on their faces say they are surprised. You wouldn’t think I’d like ceramics, but I really do. My parents were just as shocked as everyone else at first.

Q: Have you sold any pieces in this last year you’ve been doing this?

A: Yeah, I have sold a few things through my website.

Q: What’s in store for next season?

A: Some days I want to start fresh away from home and then other days I want to stay closer to home. The biggest thing will be the weather. I think it gets cold in San Diego, so going to Colorado, Texas or Boston like I’m looking will be a real tough adjustment if that’s how I go.

Ty Wheetley-Amaya

School: Westview.

Sport: Girls basketball.

Born: April 24, 1995 in San Diego.

Year: Senior.

Accomplishments: Named first-team All-Palomar League and second-team All-San Diego Section in 2012.

Quick hits

Who would you put on speed dial: Hannah Montana, Candice Wiggins, Will Smith, Brittany Spears, Selena Gomez.

Favorite pizza: Cheese.

Sport you would never watch: Golf.

If you could have a last meal: Fish tacos.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for: Be 5-foot-11, able to dunk, the fastest girl on the planet.

What three things would you want on a deserted island: Cellphone, family, my basketball.

What’s bookmarked on your computer: Maxpreps.

Talent you’d love to have: Sing.

Favorite restaurant: Miguel’s.

Best moment in athletic career: As a freshman on JV, hit 3-pointer to win a game.

What do you want to be when you grow up: Business owner.

Dog or cat: Dog, but am allergic to dogs and cats.

Favorite class: Marketing.

What TV show do you hate to miss: “Monsters Inside Me.”

Favorite sports movie: “Blind Side.”

Favorite cartoon as a youngster: “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Best Christmas present ever received: Parents leased a horse.

Biggest fear: Bees.

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