Paradise Valley resident Areta Buness, a lacrosse player at Stanford University, is one of 24 student-athletes to earn the Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship for this school year.
Each recipient, which features two students from each school in the conference, gets $9,000 after meeting the criteria of a minimum 3.0 GPA and “demonstrated a commitment to education, campus and community involvement and leadership.”
Ms. Buness, who graduated from Xavier College Preparatory in 2015, has played at Stanford for four years, three of which have been as a starting attack. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and is pursuing her master’s degree in biology.
During her time at Stanford, Ms. Buness penned an essay called “Indomitable Spirit,” which detailed her journey to playing at Stanford and her path overcoming a severe liver disease and ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory colon disease.
“Every time I step on the field to play, I feel lucky,” Ms. Buness said in her essay.
“Every time I walk into my locker room, I feel lucky. I feel lucky that my family could afford to fly me to California to find doctors who gave me a new chance at life. Most people with my diseases live their lives in between their homes and the hospital. They don’t have the luxury of playing competitive sports.”
During her four-year career at Stanford, she amassed 85 goals, 21 assists, 106 points, 64 ground balls and 27 caused turnover in 64 career games. She also finished 12th in the Stanford record books with 103 career draw controls.
She also was a two-time member of the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team and a member of the 2018 All-Pac-12 Second Team.
While at Xavier, she won the team state championship in lacrosse, badminton and cross-country. She was the No. 1 player on the badminton team, which won two state championships.
As a lacrosse player, she was a first team U.S. Lacrosse All-American three times and a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-Academic team member.
She set career Arizona state records in points (407), goals (312), points per game (6.56), draw controls (429), groundballs (260) and caused turnovers (121). She also set the season record for draw controls (175) and groundballs (107).