Through Four Years of “Ups and Downs,” Mia Skoro’s Love for Basketball Continues, Moving Her to George Fox University


Lukas Werner

Senior Mia Skoro’s advice for younger athletes is to “work on the things you aren’t good at now, and you’ll see improvement,” she said. “Also, just be confident. There will be people older and better than you, but use that as your advantage to want to train more.”

Mary Loeb, Editor in Chief

During her freshman year, now senior Mia Skoro had the opportunity to do something “that I saw the La Salle team do before I got there,” she said. “I just knew that was my goal coming into high school. And luckily, my team and I, my freshman year, got to pursue that goal, and win the 2019 state championship.”

After this strong start with basketball at La Salle, Skoro has continued to play on the varsity girls team through her senior year. “I watch back film now and see how much I’ve grown as a player,” she said. 

Next year, Skoro will continue her basketball career at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, becoming part of a select group of seniors at La Salle who are showcased in The Falconer’s Next Level Seniors series by committing to a collegiate sport.

For almost all of her life, Skoro’s weekly schedule has consisted of four to five practices on weekdays, followed by games on Saturdays and Sundays. “There aren’t many days off,” she said. 

Starting her basketball career with Lay-Ups Youth Basketball league and progressing to Clackamas Youth Basketball, to the club Team Concept, to finally playing for Northwest Stars, Skoro has a long history with the sport. She traces all of this history back to her father, who “started me with basketball at a young age,” she said. “He’s always helped me, even to this day, to teach me about basketball and help me grow.”

Although Skoro played soccer until sixth grade, she said that it “became really hard juggling two sports … My parents told me that the best advice that they could give me was to pick one, and so I knew that I loved basketball more, and so I just wanted to focus on basketball.”

Through her experience on numerous basketball teams, she has been able to travel to California, Chicago, Nevada, Arizona, and various other places across the country to compete. 

“The better I got, the more I loved the sport,” she said. “It’s hard to do something every day when you don’t like it, and so I really fell in love with the process when I started seeing results, making friends on my team. And when I was younger, I really loved the idea of traveling to other states to play basketball, so that’s what kind of made me fall in love with it.”

Since she first began to enjoy the sport, basketball has been “an escape,” Skoro said. “No matter what’s going on, outside, in life, or at school, I know that once I go into a gym, all my worries go away. It’s something that I can really focus on and relieve my nerves with.”

After the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted Skoro’s sophomore season just before the team’s semi-final competition, “even just trying to find a basketball hoop to shoot at was hard,” she said. However, Skoro was able to stay in shape through virtual workouts with her club team during this time. 

Yet, unfortunately, the pandemic wasn’t the last challenge Skoro faced with basketball during high school. Just before her senior night of this year’s basketball season, she tore her ACL in a game against Putnam High School. “My right leg gave out, and I knew right away that something was wrong,” she said.

Although Skoro had suffered previous injuries, this one had the longest recovery time of around six to nine months. 

“There are ups and downs, but by seeing even the little achievements happen, they motivate me to keep on working and to keep following up with my physical therapy exercises,” Skoro said.

Despite the positive moments Skoro has experienced throughout her recovery, she said that her injury, and especially the timing, being just before her last game in the La Salle gym, has been disappointing. 

“In the back of my mind, I wanted to lead my team to another state championship,” she said. “We technically were the reigning state champions, since there wasn’t a state champion for 2020 or 2021… [But] I wasn’t able to finish out the remainder of my season, so I wasn’t able to achieve that or help my team achieve that.”

Skoro’s basketball journey at La Salle didn’t end exactly as she envisioned, but she still reflected on her experience positively overall, noting friendships, connections, and growth that have come out of the past four years. 

From practicing together each week to loading up for a trip to the beach each year, the girls basketball team at La Salle has always been “really close,” Skoro said. “It’s very fun playing basketball with your best friends on the court, and having people who love competing and being competitors at practice.” 

Skoro has grown especially close with alumni Addi Wedin, who graduated from La Salle in 2021, and junior Ella Wedin. “The Wedin sisters, they were people who I became very close with very fast because of La Salle,” Skoro said. “And now those friendships have developed into something more than just teammates.”

While at La Salle, Skoro has not only developed relationships with friends but also strengthened bonds with her siblings, including her brothers junior Milan Skoro and freshman Paul Skoro. “We’ve just gotten very close this year, going to school and back, and just being in the same school really for the first time in our lives together,” she said.

Part of the reason Skoro landed on George Fox University in Oregon rather than a school out of state, she said, is because of connections to her family. “Just growing up, especially just growing older in high school, I realized that family is a really important piece to me, and that I wanted the ability to see them more than living out of state,” she said.

Skoro has also valued relationships with coaches she has been able to form with coaches at George Fox while exploring the school before committing. “I had a good connection with the coach,” she said. “I would say that I could see George Fox providing me with a number of skills on and off the court.”

At George Fox, Skoro hopes to major in kinesiology, with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. “I have gotten close with my physical therapist and I really liked the work that they have done, and I feel this calling to help others with their injuries as well,” she said.

As she looks toward what’s ahead, Skoro said she is “excited for the future, but I will miss high school for a number of reasons,” she said. “I’ll miss going to school with my brothers. I’ll miss going to high school with Ella and all of the teachers and friends I have here.”

Although Skoro’s college basketball season starts in October, she doesn’t anticipate that she will be able to play until December due to her injury. Even though Skoro will have a late start to her college season, “I think in the long road, [my injuries] are helping me grow in more ways than one,” she said, “and that this is making me a stronger person in the end.”

“I just have a goal to crush my recovery and have the ability to play my first year,” she said.