By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods men’s basketball head coach Ryan Bisio did it again this week, pulling off yet another coup for one of the most exciting teams on the North Coast these days.
Less than two weeks after their memorable season came to an end at the hands of the best team in the state, the Corsairs announced on Wednesday that Del Norte’s Big 5 MVP Omar Banuelos will play for the team after graduation, joining a squad already loaded with local talent.
The news is another boost for CR basketball for a couple of reasons.
One, the addition of the talented Banuelos — whom Bisio described as a “polished” player — will help to fill the notable void left in the wake of the departed Thomas Nelson, a first-team all-state selection this past winter.
And two, his decision to stay local and play for the local college is another huge statement as to how far this program has come in a very short time.
Banuelos was the top talent in the Big 5 this winter, who no doubt would have had his choice of teams lining up to sign him, and he choose to join the Corsairs.
But then again, as I mentioned before, what local high school player in their right mind wouldn’t want to play in front of a crowd like we regularly saw this year at CR?
Winless a year ago, the Corsairs are now the most exciting team to watch play here on the North Coast, having captivated the local basketball community this past season.
The atmosphere at all eight of their home games was something special, and the success they achieved on the court (undefeated at home) was a reward for the hoards of fans that showed up to watch them play an exciting brand of basketball.
Banuelos will help that continue.
After all, he’s hardly a boring player to watch, now is he?
His knack for the 3-pointer will help him fit right into a team with an abundance of offensive weapons and players with the ability to catch fire.
Playing alongside the talented group of players from Fortuna and McKinleyville already on the team will also no doubt help Banuelos and his game.
Local players are the lifeblood of CR sports and no one has been able to accommodate them better in recent years than Bisio, who in just his second year in charge of the program has already elevated this team to far loftier heights.
The Redwoods revolution continues.