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ALUMNI: Kierstin Constantino headed to UC Merced
Lathrop, Las Positas product led JUCO players nationally with 146 3-pointers
ALUM Kierstin Constantino
Lathrop High and Las Positas College graduate Kierstin Constantino has signed with UC Merced for basketball. KIERSTIN CONSTANTINO/Courtesy photo

Kierstin Constantino is taking the long road to her next destination.

The 2022 Lathrop High alumna is well-traveled going into her junior year of college, having played basketball out of state and overseas.

In May, she signed with UC Merced, where she will continue her playing career. Constantino credits much of her success of the past year and the opportunities ahead to her time at Los Positas College in Livermore.

“I think if it wasn’t for me going to Las Positas, none of this would be happening right now,” she said.

ALUM Kierstin Constantino
Las Positas guard Kierstin Constantino attempts a 3-point shot at San Jose City College. LAS POSITAS COLLEGE ATHLETICS/Courtesy photo

In her lone season with the Hawks, Constantino was named to the All-Coast Conference first team and earned All-America honorable mention by the Women’s College Basketball Coaches Association. The shooting guard shattered several Las Positas program scoring records, averaging 26.2 points per game while knocking down 146 3s — most among community college players nationally. Constantino was the overall national leader — including the NCAA and NAIA levels — in 3-point makes at one point in the middle of the season, ultimately finishing second to WNBA No. 1 draft selection Caitlin Clark.

Las Positas coach Caleb Theodore was one of the few coaches to pursue Constantino out of high school. She otherwise received little consideration from college programs but chose to take her talents to Wenatchee Valley College in Washington state.

Constantino played in 23 games for WVC, averaging 3.9 points in 18.5 minutes. Although she left the school after her freshman year, Constantino was grateful for the experience.

“Overall, the experience there was great and I loved everyone I met,” Constantino said. “Moving out of state, I was by myself but learned to be more independent.”

Constantino returned home to Lathrop wondering if she was ever going to play competitively again after being lightly recruited in high school and struggling to make an impact as a role player off the bench at Wenatchee Valley.

Then she happened to see a social media post from the Las Positas women’s basketball program. Constantino took what she thought was a shot in the dark and hasn’t stopped firing away since.

“One day, I reached out to Coach Theodore and asked if they were still recruiting players, and he was just very welcoming toward me,” Constantino said. “He said he would love to have me in his program and said I have potential to do special things and set records. That’s what caught my eye and made me want to go to Las Positas, was a coach who believes in me and what I can do to move on to the next level.

“He gave me the green light to shoot a lot of 3s, because that’s the type of player that I am. I was allowed to play my game.”

Las Positas trudged through an injury-riddled 2023-24 campaign, going 2-8 in the Coast Conference North Division and 6-19 overall. The depth issues forced the Hawks to lean on their volume shooter. Not only was Constantino among the most prolific scorers in the state, she was also one of the most durable, leading all players with 39.3 minutes per game.

She goes out as Las Positas’ single-season record holder for points scored with 654, 3-pointers made and single-game scoring — Constatino torched Cabrillo College for 52 points on 15-of-33 shooting from beyond the arc.

“It’s very mind blowing,” Constantino said of the astronomical numbers she posted this past season.

“At the beginning of the season, my coach sat us down and basically asked what our goals were for the season. I honestly didn’t believe in myself that I could do that. He sat down with me and said you need this many 3s in a game, and you will be the top scorer in the state. I basically just kept that goal with me throughout the year and started to believe in myself.”

Las Positas’ season ended in late February, and just a few weeks later Constantino was on her way to the Far East.

She earned an invitation to compete with and against other players of Filipino descent in the Fil-Nation Select tournament. Constantino was on one of three U.S.-based squads that traveled to the Philippines in March for the week-long event.  

“Overall, it was a great experience,” Constantino said, adding that it was her first trip out of the country. “The game was fast paced, and it gave me a feel for what playing overseas would be like. That’s something I would want to do after college, if it works out.”

She has some time to figure that out.

For now, Constantino is helping UC Merced’s women’s hoops team transition to the NCAA Division II level. The Bobcats are headed to their final year as an NAIA school. In 2025-26, UC Merced will join the California Collegiate Athletic Association, one of the NCAA’s most competitive D-II conferences.

Constantino was already familiar with the school, having been on multiple campus tours since her senior year of high school. Other four-year universities were in pursuit, but UC Merced was the frontrunner after getting to practice with the squad.

“The team is very friendly,” she said. “We scrimmaged for about an hour, and I feel like I fit really well with their playstyle. They play fast, and they’re in need of a shooter.”

UC Merced is coming off an 11-16 season in which it finished 10-10 in the California Pacific Conference under second-year coach Kellie Bernard.

Constantino will study sports management after earning an associated degree in social and behavioral sciences at Las Positas.