Good Sports: Clovis North Boys' Basketball

FRESNO, Calif.

Long gone are the days of 2011's Clovis north boys' basketball valley championship, a triumph followed up by last season's one-and-done trip to the playoffs.

"We all know that's not acceptable," said Broncos Head Coach Rob Streeter. "It was a very disappointing year and we're looking forward to changing that."

But this year's Bronco team is full of promise, led by their core group senior leaders and talented returners.

"We have to be a family out here," said Senior guard Rudy Lopez. "We have to be willing to play hard for one another. And with that, if you play hard, wins sort of come along. You just have to have a good scheme and know what you're doing."

But a freshman will be counted on to provide a spark this season, a fresh face who has already garnered quite a bit of hype.

"He's showing some great promise," said Lopez. "Starting as a freshman on varsity and handling it the way he has is impressive."

In 2011, Colin Slater, Jr. was labeled the best 13-year-old basketball player in the country by Slam magazine. That's the kind of praise earned by a player hand-selected by none other than Michael Jordan to go one-on-one as a nine-year-old.

"That moment was incredible," said Slater with a big smile on face. "I still think about it to this day. I can't believe I was on the court with Michael Jordan playing him one-on-one! Him guarding me also! So yeah, that was great, that was a blessing. (Were you able to score on him?) Yes, I scored on him three times."

Mature for a 15-year-old, Slater is just as much a standout in the classroom, and says he just wants to do his best to adjust to high school life and help his teammates win.

"The coaching staff has been helping me through it," said Slater. "They know what I need to do to help the team win. And that's all I want to do. I just want to win."

"Let's keep in mind: he is still a freshman," said Coach Streeter. "He's got a lot to learn. There's a lot of other pieces here and he needs to figure out how to work with those and they in turn will figure out how to work with him."

Because for Coach Streeter and the Broncos, this season is all about meshing a talented roster with the great leadership already in place, and getting back to on the Central Valley's center stage: Selland Arena.

"This team is very capable," said Lopez. "As long as we stick to what we do and work hard, the sky is the limit."

"Our potential is right out there in front of us," said Coach Streeter. "It's going to be how hard we work and how fast we can get this put back together."

And that work starts now.

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