By Romi Bean

(CBS4) — Lauren Betts is the name to know when it comes to girls high school basketball. The Colorado star just completed her junior season at Grandview High School and in 2022, Betts will become the latest Colorado superstar to take her talents to Stanford University.

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“Coach Tara is the GOAT. I know she’s going to help me become the best basketball player I can be,” Betts said. “I just know that if I want to get to the next level, the coaches will help me get there.”

At Stanford, Lauren will team up with former Colorado prep greats Fran Belibi (Regis), Jana Van Gytenbeek (Cherry Creek), and Ashten Prechtel (Discovery Canyon)

“I am friends with all of them. Jana – me and her played against each other the past few years, and she is amazing. Fran, I’m really close with her family. And Ashten played on the same travel team as I did,” Betts said.

Lauren’s list of accomplishments is already a mile long – and she still has her senior season ahead of her! Just this past season, Betts was named the Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year and the MaxPreps Colorado Player of the Year. She is also ESPN’s number one overall player for the class of 2022.

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“No matter how many accomplishments I get, I just have to always keep working hard.”

That mentality is why the accomplishments keep rolling in. This summer, Betts will be taking her talents to Hungary as part of the USA Women’s U-19 World Cup Team

“It’s an honor for sure. Going into it, I’m just really excited to get that competition. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

This isn’t the first time Lauren is representing Team USA. Betts already has one gold medal, which she earned in 2019 as a member of the U-16 squad. That experience encouraged Betts to expand her strength and endurance training and has now been working with trainer Adam Bratten for more than three years.

“It was very humbling for sure,” Betts said of her experience in 2019. “You go into it expecting a lot of yourself and once you see all that talent that’s all over the country, you realize there’s girls of your height everywhere.”

“She’s infectious in that way of wanting to get better. Even if something’s difficult, she’ll try it,” Adam Bratten said.

Lauren’s love for basketball runs deep, and it starts with her father, Andy, who played pro ball in Europe.

“I look up to my dad a lot. He’s a very hard worker. He’s been one of my biggest supporters throughout this whole process. I train with him a lot too. He’s definitely always keeping my head up and helping me become the best basketball player I can be,” Lauren said.

Lauren is as sweet as they come. But when she hits the court, a different animal emerges.

“I would say I’m very competitive. I’m very nice off the court, but once I hit the court, I’m not very friendly. I’m very aggressive. I would say I’m a smart player. I like to get my teammates involved. I don’t make the game all about me. I usually like to get assists, sometimes more than I do scoring.”

That attitude sounds a lot like the current NBA MVP — and that’s no coincidence.

“I’m obsessed with how patient Nikola Jokic is. He’s one of the smartest post players I’ve ever seen. He’s one of the best post players in the NBA right now. I just think he’s a great role model for bigs to look up to.”

Romi Bean