Adversity, Teammate Motivating GCU’s Nudo

Kenzo Nudo doesn’t hide from his flaws, he embraces them.

He doesn’t fear the possibility of another serious injury.

Why would he?

That’s not who the former Chaparral Firebird scoring machine, now Grand Canyon University  redshirt freshman is.

His accelerated rehab from a torn Achilles was fueled by a teammate and a set of inscriptions on the inside of Nudo’s forearms.

On his left arm there is a tropical palm tree and the number “322” signifying the area code of his homeland, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico. Above the palm tree are four letters signifying the first names of his family.

His right arm bears just one word: “fearless.”

Nudo’s strength in fighting both his limitations coming back from injury and the steep learning curve for most high schools stars transitioning to college players comes from junior teammate Joshua Braun, who found himself in a similar situation after tearing both ACL’s in high school.

“He’s always there helping me out after I have a bad practice or a bad game,” Nudo said to Sports360AZ.com of his road roommate Braun. “He always tells me he’s been there. He teaches me a lot. He’s an inspiration.”

A much stricter teacher is head coach Dan Majerle who understands the type of the player the well-built 6-foot-4, 205-pound Nudo can become with more work and added experience.

“Kenzo had a freak accident with his Achilles,” Majerle told Sports360AZ.com. “He came in four months which is unheard of, unbelievable. He’s got to go through the process of learning how to play college basketball.”

No one can relate more than GCU leading scorer Braun, a fellow guard, who played out of position on the post as a freshman coming off his ACL injuries, due to the Lopes lack of bulk inside.

“I let him know I was confident he was more than capable of coming back [from injury],” Braun said to Sports360AZ.com. “I had to go through a few of them. At the end of the day I grew as a man and a person because of them.”

Nudo’s playing time for the 20-9 Lopes has been limited and his shooting a bit spotty as he continues to build confidence in his game and his once-injured Achilles.

“When I got here I had a tough time playing defense,” he said. “Now I’m starting to get used to it. I’m trying to get my legs right on the defensive end.”

Rest assured, no one will ever question if Kenzo Nudo’s head right.

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.