Former star Orsillo-Devine turning Las Plumas program around

Feb 27, 2014 8:14 PM

Danielle Orsillo-Devine ran the floor at Las Plumas High School.

Now, at 27, she walks the sidelines as coach of the girls varsity basketball team.

She's back home, in her 2nd year on the job, but the journey she's taken to get here is one that's full of inspiration.

Growing up in Oroville, Danielle Orsillo-Devine became a star basketball player at Las Plumas High.

"It was fun," said Orsillo-Devine. "Going in and just playing, I was just a kid that had all the confidence in the world."

Confidence that helped her capture three straight northern section MVP awards.

During her senior year, she averaged more than 36 points-per-game.

By the time she graduated from Las Plumas, only Cheryl Miller and Charde Houston had scored more points in the history of California high school girls basketball.

That kind've domination helped Orsillo-Devine earn a full-ride to Arizona State where she continued to have success.

"College ball was awesome," said Orsillo-Devine. "We went to the Elite-8 twice, got to be a part of some All-tournament teams, the NCAA All-tournament teams. I travelled the world, went to Italy, Cancun, Hawaii, got to play on TV, it was just a great experience."

But the college experience came with some frustration as well.

Over time the game took a toll on Orsillo-Devine's knee, something that ultimately eliminated her dreams of playing pro ball.

"I was projected to go 12th in the WNBA draft, but my knee injury, the kind of knee injury I actually have is bone on bone, it's what most people retire from, my cartilage is completely gone, so I just made the hard decision that it was time for me to put them up. It's still hard, definitely, it's hard for me to watch women's basketball, it's hard," said Orsillo-Devine.

Hard to watch, but she refused to give the game up completely.

After college, Orsillo-Devine returned home to Oroville and took over head coaching duties for the girls varsity team at her alma mater.

Last season, her first on the job, Las Plumas was just 7-20 overall. But this year, they're 14-12, and it appears the program the rise.

"I think she's a really good coach, the best I've had since I've been playing basketball," said Las Plumas basketball player Lynda Vang.

Ross Field asks, "Is she an inspiration?"

"Oh yes, because she made it to college, that's what I want to do," said Halle Brown.

"We're turning this ship around, it's a little slower than I'd like but it's coming around and it looks very good for the future," said Orsillo-Devine.

But it's not only on the court where Orsillo-Devine's impact is felt.

She's married with a one-year-old baby named Dominika, who often spends time in mommy's arms during practice.

Orsillo-Devine is also the Director of Business at The Father's House Church in Oroville.

"Last year, we fed 27,000 people at The Father's House. I just love to do that kind of stuff, it's more rewarding than a cost," said Orsillo-Devine.

It's been a long journey, one that's come full circle.

Once a star at Las Plumas and Arizona State, Orsillo-Devine dedicated her life to playing basketball.

Now, she's giving back, helping those that have dreams of reaching new goals on the court themselves.

Orsillo-Devine might not be a WNBA superstar, but she's a superstar at life.

"I love what I do, I love getting up in the morning and doing my job. life isn't about a numbers game, it's not about accolades or all that kind of stuff, it's about people you affect and you change when you're here. To me, that's what it's about," said Orsillo-Devine.


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