When Mountain Ridge forward Jared Rodriguez isn’t perfecting his shot you may find him well…perfecting his shot.
The junior spends his down time hunting deer, elk or “basically anything” he told Sports360AZ.com with a wry grin last week.
You won’t find the skilled, fundamentally sound Rodriguez taking his eye off the ball much on the floor.
“He’s got a lot of upside to him,” Mountain Ridge head coach Eli Lopez explained to Sports360AZ.com. “He’s huge for us. He’s a big impact player. We’re looking for good things in the future with him.”
The 6’7 Rodriguez, who gained valuable varsity experience last season as an underclassman, will be one of the centerpieces for Lopez in hopes of erasing a forgettable single-digit win 2014-15 with a more seasoned group of players around him.
This summer he’s seen some growth in game.
“Attacking the basket,” Rodriguez explained. “My shots are starting to fall a little more.”
His steady improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed by college coaches. Rodriguez already has an offer from Northern Colorado and has received interest from Grand Canyon and Weber State.
One of the big wildcards over the next two years is how much he will continue to grow after sprouting five or six inches over the last two years.
“He definitely is a late bloomer,” Lopez said. “Doctors have told him he could grow another two or three inches. His body is one thing he’s really trying to focus in on. We’ll see…he does have the potential of grow a couple of inches at least.”
Look out future Ridge opponents, as well as Arizona wildlife.
More big game hunting ahead.