« Women’s Basketball 2014-15

Ariana Elegado


Cal Poly

Recreation, Parks & Tourism Management (M.S.)


Elegado graduated from Cal Poly in June 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks and tourism administration. She’s now entering her senior season as a graduate student in the same discipline, with a specialization in sport management. She is expecting her master’s degree in June 2016. Elegado aspires to work for a professional sports organization, perhaps in the areas of marketing or community relations, but she is also considering youth coaching as a career path. To that end, in the summer of 2014, Elegado served as a game operations intern for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Working with the franchise’s director of game operations, she assisted in the coordination of game-day setup, on-court promotions and Staples Center events. She also previously completed a marketing internship with the San Luis Obispo County YMCA as part of fulfilling her undergraduate requirement of gaining 1,000 hours of advisor-approved field experience. She provided daily customer service to parents and vendors, promoted events on social media, coached a futsal team and gathered sponsorships for a beach soccer tournament. Additionally, Elegado organized a Cal Poly Women’s Basketball White-Out Game for fans. The Senior Day win on March 1, 2014, over UC Irvine drew a crowd of 1,683, the second-highest Mott Athletics Center attendance figure of the season.


Elegado missed what would’ve been her true freshman season in 2010-11, redshirting after a preseason injury. Her commitment to the recovery and growth as a leader that followed have made her an inspirational example to younger teammates. Now with 61 starts in a row, Elegado enters her senior season having played 2,631 minutes for the Mustangs. “Ariana Elegado has been the lifeblood of energy that courses through the veins of our program,” 18th-year Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “She brings the constant belief that we can overcome any obstacles, and that through great teamwork, we can reach yet-undiscovered goals. She engages everyone around her and instills a belief in them that allows them to soar with confidence. I’ve come to expect the unexpected from her. She’s a joy to coach, watch and know. She makes everyone around her better.”


For each of the past four years, Elegado has volunteered for the Special Olympics of San Luis Obispo County, for whom she prepared short-term tasks associated with competition and organized and supervised booths and stations for skill work and daily activities. She also has volunteered at a local retirement home, Villages of San Luis Obispo, where she decorated the cafeteria and socialized with elderly tenants. Additionally, Elegado has spent several weeks over the previous four summers coaching grade-schoolers at the Cal Poly Women’s Basketball Fine Tune Camp, the Joe Callero Basketball Camp and the La Jolla Country Day (her high school alma mater) Basketball Camp. She also has dabbled in other sports, staffing the program’s annual golf tournament fundraiser at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande and helping an after-school soccer program by leading drills and teaching fundamentals to students at Laguna Middle School in San Luis Obispo.


As a junior, Elegado earned All-Big West Conference First Team honors after scoring a team-high 17.0 points per game and leading the conference in assists (4.5 per game). She also averaged 4.2 rebounds from her backcourt spot. Also during the 2013-14 season, which culminated in a WNIT appearance, she made the sixth-most 3-pointers in the history of the Big West (86). Those accomplishments came after a similarly memorable 2012-13 sophomore season during which Elegado was the Mustangs’ second-leading scorer (12.0 ppg) while leading the squad to the NCAA Tournament. She posted 22 points in the bid-clinching win at the conference tournament championship game, and afterward was named to the All-Big West Tournament Team. After she earned All-Conference Tournament accolades in 2014, she became the only player in the Big West to come into this season as a back-to-back postseason honoree. Elegado played in 30 games as a redshirt freshman, when the program won the regular-season conference title, and altogether since 2011-12 she has led Cal Poly to a 36-14 mark against the Big West, the best throughout the conference during that span. Elegado comes into her senior season No. 8 in school history in scoring, with 1,065 career points. With 327 career assists, she’s 63 away from No. 2 in the program’s history in that category.