Aaron Trains at our San Jose Location
Mitch Stephens, Special to The Chronicle
At one end, in the WCAL championship game against Serra, Mitty’s 6-foot-7, 215-pound sophomore Aaron Gordon blocked a shot off the backboard and secured the rebound.
He dribbled the length of the court, twice changing directions – first going behind his back to go left, then immediately spinning right to avoid two defenders.
Gordon was fouled as he approached the free-throw line, but he took one more dribble before floating 7 feet through the air and swishing a finger roll that didn’t even count.
It didn’t matter. The crowd groaned in amazement anyway. Gordon’s coach, Tim Kennedy, and his teammates barely blinked.
“He does that sort of thing at practice every day, and he has for two seasons,” Kennedy said. “We’re almost spoiled how good he is.”
The sequence might have bored the Monarchs, but it showed almost all of the vast skills that have made Gordon ESPN’s No. 8 recruit nationally from the Class of 2013. It also demonstrated why he’s The Chronicle’s Player of the Year.
Gordon – the younger brother of two-time first-team All-Metro player Drew Gordon, who averaged 13 points and 10.5 rebounds per game at New Mexico this season – averaged 18.1 points, 13.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.
Among all the big-name Bay Area players up for the award – and there were many – Gordon was the only one to lead his team to a state title. He is the first sophomore to earn WCAL Player of the Year honors and is the first soph to win The Chronicle’s boys Player of the Year in recent memory.
He had 17 points and tied a state Division II championship-game record with 21 rebounds in a 53-50 win over Summit-Fontana. He had 17 rebounds in the NorCal finals and 15 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks in the WCAL title win over Serra.
Beyond his long wingspan, big vertical jump and guard skills, what sets Gordon apart is his maturity and competitiveness. He shot 63 percent from the field and took perhaps 10 bad shots all season as Mitty finished 32-2 and No. 1 in The Chronicle’s rankings.
“The main thing about Aaron is he just wants to win,” Kennedy said. “He doesn’t care if he scores two or 20, he just finds a way to win, whether by block or assist or rebound … or dunk.”