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March 16, 2023

See How She Got Started: OUA & McMaster University Basketball Player Arianne Soriano


See How She Got Started in the OUA

Anchored in the efforts to spotlight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) student-athletes, the initiative See How She Got Started showcases and tells the story of how some of the conference’s talented student-athletes first got involved in sport and have made their way to the varsity stage on which they currently shine.  It is also hoped that their stories can inspire young athletes to aspire to compete in varsity-level sports.



Meet OUA Student-Athlete Arianne Soriano 

University - 

McMaster University


Sport -



Year of Eligibility -

4th Year


Hometown - 



Program of Study - 

Honours Kinesiology 



How did you first get involved in your sport?

I first got involved with my sport when my dad signed me up to play in a Filipino basketball league with boys my age. I always love looking back on how I started because it shaped me to want to play at such a competitive level. Being the only girl on the team, made it that much more difficult for boys to want to pass you the ball. Although, I did not let that stop me. As I practiced more with my dad and learned to play more aggressively, I showed them as well as my coach at the time that I was as much of a skilled player as everyone else.  This lead to my teammates and my coach to have more confidence in getting me the ball. It also help me to gain confidence in myself.  


What most interested you about your sport that made you want to pursue it at a high level?

I knew I wanted to play basketball at a high level for all sorts of reasons. The main reason is the way basketball makes me feel and how it tested my abilities mentally, physically and emotionally. I used to play as a way to escape from everything else in the world and it was just me, the hoop and a ball. Especially on those days where I felt like I could not push further or even considered quitting. Basketball has tested my character and makes me want to be my best and to see where this sport can take me.

Another reason was about the chance to be a part of a team. The amount of hours I've spent with teammates is what helped me grow so much as a person. It's the idea of being united, working as one to accomplish the same goal.  It's also about being accountable for my own actions, having each other’s back and giving my best to my team.   


Was there a specific moment/experience that led you to believe you could compete in your sport at a high level, and if so, what was it?

My experience playing Rep basketball during high school definitely pushed me to know that I could and that grew my desire to play basketball at the next high level. The amount of training and competition that we endured really gave me a glimpse of playing elite level basketball and prepared me for what was to come in the future if I wanted to play at the varsity level of the game. My team was also so talented with different skilled individuals that I was constantly learning and pushing myself. As high school came to an end, I knew I wanted more from the game. I knew I wasn't done with the sport and I knew it wasn't done with me. 


What is your fondest memory/experience of being involved in your sport thus far?

My fondest memory is definitely winning a National Championship in my first year here at McMaster University. The team was amazing on and off the court.  Also, our team dynamics and how each individual committed to pushing each other everyday in practice is what led to our success. Although in first year I didn't get to play as much, it was a year that I am most grateful for because I got the chance to learn and play from the best veteran players and leaders in the country. I definitely have used this experience to make improvements to my own game. It still amazes me to this day on how they were so great.  


Is there someone who inspires you to continue to pursue your sport at this high level (i.e., coach, professional athlete, family member, etc.) and what makes them an inspiration to you?

It’s hard to pin point to just one person who inspires me because my drive is influenced by so many amazing people in my life including my family, teammates, coaches, and friends. However, for a long time, I have always dedicated my playing to everyone else except for myself which is not a bad thing but I could feel that pressure when I played and it showed. Once I started playing for myself, that was all the motivation I needed to continue and work hard and be my best as a player.


What excites you most about continuing your athletic journey at the varsity level within the OUA?

I’m excited for the future relationships that I will make with each new year of playing university basketball.  I'm also excited to continue to enhance the relationships I have already made so far.



What is/are some of the more unique aspect(s) of your sport that others may not know about?

One unique aspect are the opportunities given to you outside of playing basketball. The amount of community outreach and leadership experience I've gained makes my time as a student-athlete so much more fulfilling. Having the ability to give back to a community that supports you as well as inspiring the next generation of athletes to come is so meaningful for me. Especially when inspiring female athletes. There are still so many barriers for females to overcome in sport so I’m grateful that I can be the person for others to reach out to. This year, I'm the Co-President of McMaster’s Varsity Leadership Committee and it’s been amazing to find opportunities to enhance other student-athletes’ experiences in this role. 


If someone else was looking to start playing your sport, what one piece of advice would you give them to get them started?

I would definitely recommend that you find joy and success in the little things and build off that. It's so easy to feel discouraged or want to quit after a bad game or couple rough practices. But, it’s during these moments where you can become a better you. 


What is one critical thing that you do to try to continue to experience improvement within your sport (i.e., specific drill/exercise, training regimen, routine, etc.)?

For me, it's focusing on my drills and training regimen. It’s also about building that muscle memory and putting the work in especially when you’re tired. As well, it's at those moments where you need to push your cognitive function and your own personal gas pedal where you’ll see improvements. 


What would you say to your 10-year-old self about playing and staying in sport?

I will tell my 10-year-old self to not forget to have fun. I will also tell her that it's going to be the best years of your life and you're going to meet so many amazing and talented people along the way. Always remember that you play the best when you’re having fun. 


Is there one strategy that you find works well for you in creating a positive student/athlete balance in your life?

Time management! I cannot stress this enough! I think it's super important to have a balance life with school, basketball, and social time but, it can only work if you plan ahead accordingly. 



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