Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area
The Norcal Basketball Finals are upon us! This Saturday the Norcal Basketball Champions will be crowned in divisions 1-through-5 and also the Open Division. That's 12 champions when you include both girls and boys, which means a lot of smiling this Saturday.
The one team I'd like to talk about though is Deer Valley from Brentwood. All season and into last year I've been very impressed with this squad. Deer Valley is in the Division One Title game and has been looking forward to working toward the State Championship game all year.
Deer Valley is known mostly for their big man in the middle, Marcus Lee, who'll be attending Kentucky next year and is highly ranked in pretty much every recruit list. While Marcus is an impressive player, the reason I was first drawn to Deer Valley is their outstanding point guard Kendall Smith. Kendall is an animal, he'll drain a three in your face then let you know about it the next three trips down the court. He's the type of player that can heat up and rip off 11 straight points for his squad. Kendall is a dynamic offensive player, at 6-foot-3 and well built he can get to any place on the court and get his shot off. Kendall's game reminds me of a small LeBron James high schooler, muscling his way into the lane, getting fouled but still releasing a pretty good shot. While Smith can hit from distance and mid-range, handle the ball like it's on a string and pass, his real strength comes from his competitive spirit. Let's just say that Kendall doesn't like to lose, he'll get in teammates' faces if they're not holding up their end of a play, he'll take the ball straight at the opposing team's best player and my personal favorite, he'll let you know that he's better than you both with his mouth and his play.
If we're talking about the Deer Valley Wolverines, I can't leave out the twins, Nsimba and Nzuzi Webster. These two start as the off guards to Kendall's point and do whatever is asked of them. Nzuzi and Nsimba are most effective though when they're pressuring the opposing defense. Having the luxury of a Marcus Lee to protect the inside enables Nzuzi and Nsimba to take risks on the perimeter and go for steals. The twins can bring the tempo of a game to break neck speeds, they pressure, steal and start the break, most likely passing to each other for an uncontested layup as shown in the picture above.
Deer Valley has a ton of talent, of course Marcus Lee is at the forefront of that talent but if the Wolverines walk away with a Norcal title this weekend, Kendall, Nsimba and Nzuzi are going to be a huge part of it.