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High school coaches on overcoming obstacles while growing up Hispanic in San Antonio

Even in San Antonio, a Hispanic background meant running into challenges in school and while trying to foster a career.

SAN ANTONIO — We spent some time visiting with Hispanic high school coaches in the San Antonio area. 

Last week, we talked about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them, and how it evolved them into the people they are today. This week we learned that growing up Hispanic wasn't always easy, even in San Antonio, and some lingering issues still exist today. 

"I grew up on the north side because my father owned five pharmacies, and later it was like, you know, Hispanics shouldn't grow up on the north side," said Christina Camacho, who coaches girls' basketball at Judson High. "I was on the school bus headed to middle school, and I had a young man, a student, call me the word you should never call a Hispanic young lady. I played basketball at UTSA. I was on their first ever basketball program, and I was Hispanic, and back in the day we weren't supposed to be good at basketball. 

"If anything it motivated me to hopefully be where I am today," Camacho went on to say. "I do everything I can to help these young ladies, and if she wants to talk about what I've been through in the past, yeah, I'll definitely sit down and talk with her. If I need to be that Hispanic head coach that a young Hispanic needs to look up to then I'm gonna do that, but I'll do the same for the other races as well."

"I didn't actually realize how big of a deal it was until people around me starting bringing it up," said Natasha Benavides, head coach of the girls' basketball program at Jefferson High. "I've heard other coaches say, 'I didn't even get an interview,' you know, 'I have this much experience and couldn't even get an interview.' Other coaches started opening my eyes and made me realize how big of a deal it is."

We'll continue the conversation next week with how the coaches feel San Antonio is doing with hiring Hispanic coaches into the head coaching world.

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