Memorial 7-foot center reaching for high goals

FRESNO, Calif.

Robert Upshaw's too big and strong once he gets the ball down low. At 7-feet, 285 pounds Upshaw would be big man on campus at just about any school.

Big Rob will take his game to Kansas State next season but we figured it'd be a good idea to sit him down to talk about all the defensive attention he's drawn this season.

Upshaw explained, "I don't get frustrated. I just keep playing because I know there has to be double teams and triple teams and that sets up my teammates for basket, back doors, three-balls."

Memorial head coach Pat Geil said of Upshaw, "He does a good job of staying out of foul trouble. He' probably blocking 5-7 shots a game, double digits rebounding each game. Yeah he makes us look like good defensive coaches that's for sure. "

Coach Geil said consistency is the key to winning both league and Valley championships. The Panthers have shown patience in getting the ball inside to Upshaw. He said, "I feel like the strongest part of my game is on the block. Posting, post work, hook shots and using my left hand a lot."

Upshaw has been nominated for the McDonald's All-American game. Six years ago San Joaquin Memorial sent two 7-footers to the big game. Robin and Brook Lopez now play in the NBA. Robert Upshaw's game is a little different.

Geil said, "I think Rob is kind of combination of both to some extent. Maybe not quite as athletic but big and strong."

Upshaw added, "One, there was two of them. I just feel like coming here to Memorial I feel like I'm going to leave my own legacy behind as a basketball player as they did."

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