Mekia Valentine was a neighbor and friend of mine at UCSB. She and I met in the laundry room in the San Clemente Village in September 2011. We both lived in Donner Village.
She’s also the reason I decided to broadcast women’s basketball.
While tons of people have wonderful stories about Mak, here are a few from me.
In October of 2011, my then-roommate Darren and I were going to do something on the nights of Halloween, but we weren’t sure of our exact plan. But Mak invited us to walk around IV with the women’s basketball team and the men’s soccer goalkeeper. Why did we merit inclusion in that? No reason other than that Mak was really nice.
Here’s a story from her basketball career:
More than one night of broadcasting women’s basketball, Mak fell off lists of top-10 in UCSB history. Because she was tied for 10th–sometimes with herself–and then she would place higher than 10th, and her 10th-place would fall off.
She notched a triple-double one game I am proud to have been in attendance for.
And throughout all this, she was humble and nice. There are so many people way less accomplished than she was who are awful and rude.
But not Mak.
I found out this week about her passing, and it hurt.