Prep boys basketball: Cottonwood senior craves court time despite losing season
Brendan Guzman's family relocated from Lancaster, Calif., when he was only 7 and just starting to learn the nuances of, say, dribbling a basketball.
Just more than a decade later, Guzman says he likes living in Utah. But a little bit of his Southern Cal upbringing comes out when he adds he doesn't really like snow all that much.
The truth, though, as his days playing for Cottonwood High School come to an end, is that Guzman would be more than happy to shovel the walkway year-round if he could continue playing hoops at the college level.
"I would love to play college ball. Anywhere would be fine," he says. "As long as I'm playing basketball, I'm happy."
Guzman averages more than 15 points a game for the Colts as his scoring comes from a smooth 3-point shot from the outside and quickness near the basket.
A 6-foot-2 guard, he also shows a good touch in finding open teammates with passes. But, for a teenager who doesn't play other sports, he's also looking at the realistic possibility that his team may have only a couple more games left on the hardwood.
Cottonwood's boys basketball team comes down the home stretch with only a 5-14 record.
"It's a little bit frustrating, but I know if we worked harder we'd be more successful out there on the court," Guzman said. "I want to do whatever I can to help my team get better. Anything I can do, I'll do it."
"We've got some youth on our team, but we've got some kids who are straight-up competitors," Cottonwood coach Cory Martin said of Guzman, who is actually in only his first year as a varsity player.
"Brendan is one of those kids who does what he needs to do and he works his butt off," Martin added. "He makes mistakes sometimes that we don't really like but he's trying all the time. He's a great kid."
Though it's Guzman's most earnest wish to keep playing the sport he loves, the teen isn't one-dimensional.
One of his favorite activities is going to the Hartvigsen School for children with special needs.
"We go there every week with the team and hang out with the kids. It's quite fun," Guzman says. "Sometimes we'll have P.E., sometimes we'll just play on the computer doing games. Some we'll teach them how to say words. We've been doing it for two years I love it."