"It has been a lot of work, and a lot of traveling," Gaines said.
"But it has been worth it. This is what I love to do, and I can't
play enough basketball."
At one point, Gaines played 30 straight days of basketball.
The crowning moment of Gains' summer came last month when she and
her West Coast All-Stars travel-ball team captured a 15-and-under
national championship at the Amateur Athletic Union Nationals.
It is the second national AAU gold medal for Gaines, who won a
13-and-under title in 2000.
Winning the title July 27th was an important accomplishment for
Gaines, who is a two-time all-league selection at Burroughs.
"There were a lot of good teams and some very good players," she
said. "You are playing against the best of the best high school
players in the nation. It was a lot of competition.
"I'm just happy our team was able to win it."
Gaines said competing against such stellar athletes has helped
improve her game.
"When you play against very good players, it elevates your game
even more," she said. "That's why I like to play in tournaments like
The AAU tournament championship came after Gains and her West
Coast All-Stars captured the Adidas Showtime Tournament in Las Vegas.
Gaines also attended the Adidas Top 10 Camp in Atlanta.
"You can tell Tulyah has gotten even better just over the summer
playing in all the elite tournaments," Burroughs girls' basketball
Coach Doug Nicol said. "Improving her skills is only going to pay off
for her when the high school rolls around.
"I'm telling you right now, if Tulyah continues to improve, she is
going to be probably one of the three best players to ever come out
of the [Glendale-Burbank] area. She is that good."
For Gaines, her goals for next season are simple: "I want to
improve my shooting." she said. "And I want us to win the Foothill
During her sophomore season, Gaines -- a guard -- averaged 14
points and 5.4 assists a game and had 95 steals to earn second-team
All-Foothill League honors.
Last season, the Indians advanced to the CIF Southern Section
Division IIA quarterfinals.