More often than not, you can spot the best basketball players. You know, they're usually the tallest ones on the court. But West High senior Austyn Contreras is writing his own rules. "I've been around this game a long time," said fourth year coach Tye Hammond. "I've never seen a kid with his work ethic."
Standing at just five foot seven inches, the Vikings' combo guard has found the secret to success; it's just hard work. "You're talking about a kid who gets up at 4AM, 5AM every morning, he's at the gym shooting, he stays after practice, he's here early," said Hammond.
While Contreras has always been a great outside shooter (Hammond calls him "our Steph Curry"), that extra work before and after practice has helped his inside game.
Fellow Viking Terry Phillips nailed a buzzer beating game winner over Centennial in the Garces Tournament final to extend West's winning streak to 10 games. Contreras says it's thanks to teammates like him that confidence is at an all time high. "A lot of confidence going into league," he said.
While he's already thinking about what success in the postseason would mean for the community, his coach is looking beyond that and into what he sees as a bright collegiate future. "There's no kid in the section that can shoot with this kid," Hammond said. "I promise you that. There is not one kid."
West will open league play East Bakersfield on January 13th hoping to improve a season record of 13-3.