June 7, 2023

Journey from a student to college athlete


This archived article was written by: Richard Worsham

The basketball story behind sophomore Yarima Leticia Gutierrez journey from Copper Hills High School to USU Eastern is not the usual. She came to college in 2014 as a student, not student athlete. After one year of college and an LDS mission, she decided basketball still had a role to play in her life.
Gutierrez attended school in Price in 2014 before she was called to serve an LDS mission in Guatemala. She came back in 2016 spring semester, and that is where her basketball story at USU Eastern begins.
After practice with the team during open gyms and scrimmages, coach Chelsey Warburton talked to Gutierrez about an opportunity to play basketball again. Gutierrez said, “I knew that I wasn’t done playing just yet, so I took it.”
At East High School, Gutierrez started playing basketball as a freshman. The JV coach at that time asked her to go to an open gym and when Gutierrez didn’t show up, she was invited back only this time for the tryout. Gutierrez said, “The day I started playing basketball was the day I tried out and I made the freshman team. I started to practice and practice and I got better. I loved it ever since!
“My sophomore year, I moved to West Jordan and played the rest of my high school career.”
Basketball since high school has been her passion and something she strives to improve at every year. Fortunately for USUE, she came here after hearing about it from a neighbor and has loved it ever since.
She loves USU Eastern because “it is a small school and everyone gets to know each other really well. The professors know us individually and help us the best they can. You can feel a great amount of support from those around you. The activities that are put on are my favorite. I love being able to go to the activities and meet new people and just have a good time.”
She plans to major in social work and says it’s been a major that she has been most interested in for the past four years. “She specifically want[s] to help families that have to go through tough trials and children in foster care. I at some point would like to be a case worker, or be some sort of counselor. I want to be able to help families and children in times of need.”

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