Immanuel High senior guard Nate Kendricks received some valuable advice from his uncles about which sport he needs to stick to.
His uncles are NFL stars Eric and Mychal Kendricks. Turns out, the Kendricks brothers were spot-on telling their nephew to concentrate on basketball.
Entering Friday’s action in the Clovis Elks Invitational, Nate Kendricks was averaging 33.6 points per game to rank seventh in the nation and third in the state.
He had a career-best 49 points Dec. 9 in a 91-82 loss to St. Paul’s-Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Father Barry Christmas Classic in Carmichael.
“Everything was falling for me,” Kendricks said. “My teammates were giving me good looks. We lost that game, but we fought hard and came pretty close, but we’re young and lack of experience got us in that one.”
Immanuel is 7-6 after Thursday’s win at the Clovis Elks. The Eagles defeated Johansen-Modesto 73-63 behind Kendricks’ 35 points. He went for 38 Friday in a 62-54 win over Petaluma.
Kendricks played some football, but Mychal and Eric told him enough of that and to do what he does best: shoot.
“They said do my thing in basketball,” said Kendricks, who is verbally committed to Fresno Pacific. “They used to play, too, but their thing is football and mine is basketball.”
Kendricks has a goal in mind: getting Immanuel back to the Central Section championship. He scored 28 last season as the Eagles defeated Madera South 58-51 for the Division IV title. That team, led by Darrin Person Jr. (who’s now redshirting at Cal State Bakersfield), made it to the regional final.
“We’re just young right now and that comes with a lack of experience,” Kendricks said. “I think as we progress, we’ll be better and we’ll get back to the championship.”
Clovis Elks final
Sanger plays Dublin for the tournament championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Clovis High.
In Friday’s semifinals, Sanger (12-2) denied Clovis a championship berth for the second time this season, beating the Cougars 68-62. Sanger won 65-62 on Dec. 15 in the Holiday Invitational Tournament. The Apaches won the HIT at Hoover the next night with a 70-55 victory over Kerman.
Dublin beat Clovis East 83-62.
Sunnyside player shatters backboard
The backboard shattered after Sunnyside senior forward Amari Stroud dunked in a Dec. 18 game at Madera.
Thankfully, the glass didn’t come down with him. More importantly, the Wildcats scored a 64-39 victory over the Coyotes.
Stroud said his dad also shattered a backboard when he played for Washington Union in the 1980s.
The championship game of the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis New Years Eve Classic girls basketball tournament is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Buchanan.
Recent area basketball tournament champions
Boys: Sanger (Holiday Invitational Tournament), Edison (Polly Wilhelmsen Invitational), Riverdale (Parlier Invitational), Clovis West (Clovis West Nike Invitational), Madera South (Madera South Classic), Kerman (Kingsburg Lions Tournament), Hanford (Andrew Bedoya Holiday Classic). Roosevelt (Kerman Invitational), Tulare Western (Tulare Holiday Classic), Granite Hills (Corcoran Invitational)
Girls: Fresno (Selma Shootoout), Exeter (Exeter VIP Pizza Tournament), Porterville (George Glover Memorial Tournament), Rufus King-Milwaukee (Central Valley Showdown at Clovis West), Porterville (Dinuba-Orosi Holiday Classic). Washington Union (Kerman Invitational, Sunnyside Tournament, Fowler Invitational), Yosemite (Hoover Holiday Tournament, Madera Shootout)