Jacob Gondrezick is the perfect example of what a player can do given the proper support.
In his case, that support came from a couple of surgeries.
Judge Memorial senior guard Jacob Gondrezick had surgeries three years ago to stabilize a floating meniscus in his knees, a genetic condition.
Gondrezick leads the Bulldogs in scoring and assists, and ranks among the state leaders in 3-pointers.
Earlier this week, Gondrezick accepted a scholarship offer to play at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.
Gondrezick, a senior guard at Judge Memorial, is the leading scorer in the Bulldogs’ balanced offense, and is considered one of the 3-point shooters in the state.
He has his legs to thank — specifically his knees. Born with a floating meniscus in each knee, Gondrezick had the cartilage surgically stabilized three years ago.
"They sutured them down to secure them," Gondrezick said. "It’s a genetic condition …. My dad had to have it, too. I tore [the cartilage] playing basketball, but it was bound to happen.
"They are 100 percent now. Now that they’re fixed, it’s most likely never going to happen again."
Since missing the first half of his sophomore season as part of the three-month rehabilitation, Gondrezick has been injury free. More important, he is also free of concern over re-aggravating what was once a nagging concern.
"They aren’t stronger or anything, they just feel normal," Gondrezick. "I look at it like I’m better now because of it. If anything, I play more confidently because my knees are fine."
That confidence is a big reason Judge Memorial sits atop the Region 10 standings, unbeaten entering this week’s grudge match with Juan Diego.
Since a 6-7 start in nonregion play, the Bulldogs have barely been tested, topping opponents by an average of 15 points during their six-game win streak. Only one win — last week at Park City — came by fewer than 12 points.
"We’ve had five different people at any given time score in double figures," Judge coach Dan Del Porto said. "And our roles have been a little better defined. We’ve started the same lineup since league play started."
Gondrezick, who switched to point guard from shooting guard in the offseason, leads the team in scoring (14.5 points), averaging double figures along with Alex Mancini (12 ppg) and Joe Cremer (10 ppg).
Gondrezick is also tops in assists and 3-pointers. His 44 3-pointers entering the week rank him third in Class 3A.
"I’ve always been able to shoot it," said Gondrezick, who is shooting about 50 percent from beyond the arc. "I look at myself as one of the better shooters in 3A for sure, and in the state at least. I’m really confident shooting the basketball."
The long-range accuracy earned Gondrezick a scholarship offer to play at Division II Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., which he accepted earlier this week.
"It’s great for him," Del Porto said. "It’s a pretty high-level D-II school. I think it’s a really good step for him. He’s got family in Colorado, and I’m really happy for him."
But first, there is a state title to chase. Early season losses to Bingham, Riverton, Highland and Murray have toughened them up for that challenge.
According to Gonrezick, the Bulldogs are right on course.
"We played a tough preseason and I feel like it’s shown," he said. "I’m not surprised where we’re at. Everyone is playing really well, and we’re where I expected us to be."
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