Athlete of the Month: Catherine Byun


Maddy Brandon

Catherine Byun has made huge strides for herself and for the girl’s basketball team at West.

Casey Griffith, Sports Writer

If you’re trying to balance school and being a full-time basketball player, junior Catherine Byun is a good person to give you some pointers.

Byun started playing basketball nearly ten years ago in the first grade. She was always playing sports, so when her dad suggested basketball she was ready to try.

Now on the girls varsity team, Byun is a point guard, meaning she manages the floor and makes sure everybody is doing their job on offense. Byun has the job of calling the plays and helping to execute them.

Over the past several years, Byun’s confidence has grown in her position, specifically with finding her place within the team.

“As a freshman I was very nervous and timid and I wasn’t sure what I contributed to the team, but as the season went on I got better and gained more confidence. By my sophomore year I was starting and that was a big responsibility, but I grew into it and embraced my specific role that I had on the team,” Byun said.

Basketball has played an important role in Byun’s life and has helped to shape her personality.

“Because I’ve been playing basketball for the majority of my life, it’s been one of the biggest factors that has shaped my life. There’s almost never been a time where I wasn’t playing during the year and it’s one of the defining factors that makes me who I am,” Byun said.

Basketball’s importance to Byun comes from multiple factors, but a big one is her team.

“My team makes it special to me because I’ve loved being a part of something so great with lots of wonderful and talented people over the years,” Byun said.

Another important factor is the leadership skills that head coach Brittany Cox has helped her to develop.

“Catherine is the type of kid every coach wants on their team. She works so hard and holds herself to a very high standard. She’s been working this year to come out of her shell and gain confidence in her leadership,” Cox said.

Over the course of her basketball career at West, Byun has come into her role well.

“[Byun has] been one of our best defenders on our team since she was a freshman, but she’s so much more than that. She’s the ideal student athlete and teammate too. Cat does all the little things for us that really add up to being major things at the end of the day,” Cox said.

As the season continues, Byun hopes to continue growing with it.

Here are some fun facts about Byun:

Athlete role model: Julie Ertz

Favorite show on Netflix: Friends

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite animal: Panda

Favorite quote: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step,” -Martin Luther King Jr.