Photo by Ted Escobar
With his mother, Valerie Cardenas, at his side, Mabton’s Diego Garza signs a letter of intent to play basketball for Multnomah University of Portland.
As of Monday, May 14, 2018
MABTON Excuse Mabton hoops star Diego Garza if acts as if he’s died and gone to heaven.
He has — 3-point shooter heaven.
The young man who loves the trey signed with Multnomah University of Portland last Friday at a ceremoney attended by about 50 on-lookers.
Multnomah, a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, might as well be called 3-point tech. It led the nation last season in 3-pointers attempted and in 3-pointers made.
Multnomah is new to the conference and generally a new program. It has won 2, 3 and 5 games in its first three years.
“We are on the upswing,” coach Curt Bickly said with a wry smile.
Bickly likes the 3-pointer and uses it as a recruting tool. As for the position for which Garza was recruited, he said, “Shooter.”
Garza also said “shooter” and laughed. Both grinned about it because “shooter” sounds weird in a world where offensive plays, posting up and defense are the by-words.
Bickly said an assistant coach watched Garza play and recommended him. They both liked his shooting ability
“He has great ball-handling skills,” Bickly said, adding he believes Garza can make it to varsity his sophomore season.
Garza will see extensive action on junior varsity in a heavy schedule of junior colleges his freshman year.
Multnomah started as Mulnomah School of the Bible in 1936. It is still a Christian faith-based university of about 800 students. It competes and the National Association of Intecollegiate Activities level.
Garza averaged 18 points per game as a junior and 20 as a senior.
His father, Roy Garza, was elated by the basketball scholarship , but he was surprised a college would recruit at the 2B level.
“It’s very exciting,” mother Valerie Cardenas said.
In addition to being a good basketball player, Garza has been an excellent student.
He will graduate in June with a diploma from Mabton and an associate degree from Yakima Valley College.
Garza’s high school grade-point average is 3.84. His college GPA is better than 3.0.