The keys to the success of Whitnall junior guard Sierra Grubor are simple and basic — talent and a strong desire to work hard and improve.
'Sierra has a lot of natural skills, but what separates her is that she continues to work to improve her game,' Whitnall girls basketball head coach Keith Larson said.
Grubor averaged 14.8 points this season and finished second in the Woodland Conference East Division to only Jada Stackhouse of division champion Shorewood. She was also among the team's leaders in rebounds, assists and steals.
For these accomplishments and her leadership, Grubor was named to the 2015-16 Now Newspapers All-Suburban team, moving up from honorable-mention status on the Now team last season.
She was also a unanimous selection to the all-Woodland Conference East first team for the second straight season.
'Sierra is a versatile player who can play both perimeter and inside,' Larson said.
Her statistics bear out Larson's claim. Grubor hit a respectable 38 percent from 3-point range on the season, and her average of 4.3 rebounds shows that she can also mix it up with the taller players under the basket.
She has played competitive basketball since seventh grade and was on the Whitnall varsity as a freshman.
'I played in the summer league (before her freshman season), which allowed me to meet the girls (future teammates),' she said. 'That helped me make the adjustment to varsity as a freshman.'
She has steadily improved over the three years and was a major leader this season for the Falcons, who nevertheless went through an inconsistent 13-11 campaign.
'We had our ups and downs,' Grubor said. 'We got along well, and we practiced hard, but this is a tough conference and you can lose some games, which brings your confidence down. We went into all the games with confidence, but things didn't always work out.'
Now that the high school season is over, Grubor will focus on her traveling AAU team, which will play from March through July.
'This is good for college exposure,' said Grubor, who said she is starting to attract the attention of a few colleges.