Kiefer Nguyen is probably not probably the most gifted participant on the Oakwood Excessive Boys basketball group, however he’s definitely one of the helpful.
In his thirteenth season as Oakwood coach, Courtroom Jensen mentioned, “I’ve older youngsters and higher athletes, however I am unable to get Kiefer off the ground as a result of he shoots the ball so effectively.” “He has an innate means to attain the ball, he can drive downhill, go left or proper, however no one notices him as a result of he is 5 foot-9 and we’ve got 6-5 and above.” There are a lot of. So he actually flies below the radar.”
The senior guard is a part of a Hawks group that aspires to win the primary Central Coast part championship in this system’s historical past, profitable the Norkels and state. If that sounds unimaginable, observe that Oakwood is ranked second within the state for Division V faculties, in keeping with Max Preps.
The Hawks go 20-1 on mixture over the weekend and 8-0 within the Pacific Coast League’s Cypress Division. Jensen mentioned it is fan appreciation evening for Monday’s common season home-final, a 7 p.m. sport with free entry and no spectator restrictions. That is arguably Jensen’s most gifted roster he has at Oakwood, with freshman level guard Langston Watson and a bevy of massive males who can dominate everybody on a sure evening.
Nguyen, a four-year varsity participant, mentioned the gamers’ selflessness and good group chemistry have been key to their success.
“The group dynamic has been nice yearly as all of us depend on one another like household,” he mentioned.
With 6-6 Sandro Kokochasvili, 6-8 Luka Kokochasvili, 6-7 Martin Safranca, 6-5 Lazar Cankovic, 6-5 Roman Moskalenko and 6-4 Vlad Ziatsou, the Hawks have one of many largest groups by way of dimension. is one. Regardless of having one of many shortest nominations, C.C.S.
“I just like the prospects of this group as a result of they’re so various in so many various issues within the sport,” Jensen mentioned. “If one thing is not working with our massive guys, we are able to all go to the guard lineup and press. If the press is not working, we are able to go massive and go 6-6, Can play within the entrance row of 6-7, 6-8.”
Jensen acknowledged that Watson is the straw that stirs the drink and mentioned that the principal Oakland Troopers’ itinerary coach and director have been current to observe Watson in the course of the 74–41 Oakwood victory in the course of the North Salinas sport on February 1.
“They have been right here and all through Langston to play for him, and it says what you want to find out about Langston,” Jensen mentioned. “However in addition they not noted Lazar and Martin. Their head coach has been round for some time which is an effective signal for us and tells us our children are doing effectively. … After each sport, each coach comes and says, ‘That child (Watson) is so good.’ Even the referees speak about how good he’s.”
Jensen mentioned this system is progressing like by no means earlier than, as this 12 months the personal Morgan Hill Faculty is fielding three groups: freshman, junior varsity and varsity.
“And we’ve got 35 boys enjoying in our center faculty, so it actually caught on right here,” he mentioned. “It has been quite a lot of enjoyable from that viewpoint.”
Nguyen had 18 factors within the Northern Salinas competitors and shot on time and displayed a powerful lead all through the season. He can shoot from 3-point vary and has labored laborious to enhance defensively. Nguyen developed a ardour for the sport when he was within the seventh grade.
That is when his mother and father obtained him membership to the Centennial Recreation Middle, and across the similar time his grandmother Viet Le confirmed him the best way to examine the sport and study issues from the professionals, particularly former NBA participant Jeremy Lin.
“My grandmother launched me to the game and Jeremy Lin was an enormous a part of it,” Nguyen mentioned. “That is after I began watching basketball and fell in love with the game. I’d sit at his home and look ahead to a number of hours and attempt to imitate the actions of the gamers and examine the sport.”
The story goes that Nguyen was named after Kiefer Sutherland, the lead actor of “24”. Contemplating that the present premiered in 2001 and that Nguyen was born in 2003, the timeline appears right. Nguyen has been a part of 4 league championship profitable groups, however he hopes this group can do what no different Oakwood group has executed earlier than up to now.
“We wish to take the subsequent step to win the CCS, the Knorkels and the state,” he mentioned. “That is undoubtedly our 12 months to win the CCS, and it’ll imply rather a lot to our college and shall be an incredible reminiscence for all of us.”
Oakwood has by no means reached a CCS ultimate, not to mention gained, and this season is the group’s finest likelihood to lastly style the part’s glory.
“We all the time appear to run into an enormous canine within the playoffs,” Jensen mentioned. “I’d like to spend a 12 months the place youngsters can expertise CCS Championship wins.”
Sports activities Editor Emanuel Lee may be accessed right here [email protected] and (831) 886-0471, Extn. 3958.