When Nudo is on target for Chaparral hoops, few are better
Originally published: Jun 27, 2014 - 12:00 am
The man wearing the golden shoes is the man with the golden touch for Scottsdale Chaparral’s basketball team at Tempe High in the Best in Summer Invitational this weekend.
Kenzo Nudo’s shooting can shred an opponent in such a quiet way that they almost don’t know it is happening to them.
The senior-to-be has committed to Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University, and Antelopes coach Dan Majerle knows a good shooter when he sees one.
According to Chaparral coach Dan Peterson, Nudo shot 40 percent from 3-point range, 50 percent in regular field goals and 80 percent free throws while averaging 18 points for the Firebirds last season.
Peterson lauds Nudo’s work ethic.
“He doesn’t accept just being good. He wants to be great,’’ Peterson said. “He also works on his leadership skills. He has a lot of talent, a lot of quickness and footspeed.’’
Nudo is constantly looking for that extra edge.
He has been working on driving to the basket more.
“You try to do something that teams don’t expect,’’ Nudo said. “You want to try to catch them off-guard.’’
Peterson said he thinks the 6-foot-3 Nudo can create at least four or five more shots per game with that move.
“He is quick, strong and athletic,’’ Peterson said. “When he takes that first step, he can get by people and finish at the rim and that’s money.’’
While Nudo is capable of taking over a game, he has to work within the coaches’ system because Chaparral has other good shooters.
“He is lights out, one of the best shooters in the state,’’ Peterson said. “He has a lot of freedom – within our structure – and he can create his own shot.’’
Nudo looks forward to seeing that the Firebirds can do.
“We have been playing pretty well, and our expectations are good for this coming season,’’ he said.
Chaparral finished second to defending Division I champion Tempe Corona del Sol in another summer tournament at Tempe High last week, and fared well against a competitive field in a tournament at San Diego State, Nudo said.
Basketball is his top spot, but he also played soccer while growing up. He was born in Mexico and lived near Guadalajara for the first 10 years of his life.
“I was pretty good at soccer, but I was better at basketball,’’ he said. “When we moved here, it was basketball almost all the time.’’
Studying and watching the game has allowed Nudo to become more of a complete player.
“It’s really amazing to see what he’s learned in a relatively short time,’’ Peterson said.
It figures that Nudo will only get better as he heads to Grand Canyon next year.
“I think he is capable of making an impact right away,’’ Peterson said.
Nudo is grateful to have the opportunity.
“Coach Majerle came out to watch me play a couple of times, and that meant a lot,’’ said Nudo, who also took a serious look at Santa Clara. “The Grand Canyon program is improving all the time and I want to help them get to the next level.’’
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