COLORADO SPRINGS — Palmer's Alyssa Rodriguez-Trujillo is nothing short of a hero on the hardwood.
"Right now I should be in legal trouble," explained Rodriquez-Trujillo. "I shouldn't be doing well in school. I shouldn't be playing this sport. I kind of beat the odds."
The junior is fearless with the rock, averaging 22.8 points per game - ranking top 10 in the state.
But off the court is a much different story for the Colorado Springs native.
"I grew up in a very poor environment," said Rodriguez-Trujillo. "I have seen a lot of things. You know, it brings tears to my eyes sometimes. I did not grow up like any other teenage or little kid."
The 16-year-old has been in the foster system for the past eight years.
"My biological dad was never there for us and my mom lost to us to an addiction she had," explained Rodriguez-Trujillo. "So me, my brother, and my sister went into the system."
Since then basketball has been her motivation, which has eventually led to her saving grace.
"I got a call from her caseworker saying they were going to move her to Aurora in Denver and I knew she had her brother and sister here," said Palmer assistant girl's basketball coach Eric Trujillo. "So my wife and I were like man if we can keep her here for a little bit - so temporally until they find her a permanent place in foster care. And then temporary - after a few weeks - turned into a couple of months, a couple of months turned into 6 months, 6 months turned into permanency placement, and then it turned into we love this kid now and it just happened."
The hope is that Eric and his family will adopt Alyssa after the new year.
"I already see it," said Rodriguez-Trujillo, wiping area tears. "Tears in my eyes. It's a dream that has never come true for me these past 8 years. It is going to be a dream that I have always dreamed of. Being a part of a family that loves me unconditionally."
The hope is Rodriguez-Trujillo can be an inspiration for others in the foster care system.
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