How serious is Cabrillo’s LeAndrew Knight on the basketball court?
One perfect illustration of a focused Knight came on the road against Templeton in the season finale and with a perfect Los Padres League record in sight. But the Eagles stunned the Conquistadores by taking an early lead and, much to the dismay of Knight, started to joke about the way Knight and the Conqs were playing.
Knight took that personal…and became the driving force on the CHS scoring end in the 82-47 rout of the Eagles, solidifying the perfect LPL mark and helping clinch a high playoff seed for the Conqs.
“This game to me is a lifestyle. So if you disrespect the game, you’re disrespecting me. So I went out there and took it to them,” Knight said.
That focused attitude and score-at-will philosophy has not only turned the 6-foot-3 junior into the frontrunner for the LPL Most Valuable Player award once again, but Knight has been named this season’s All-Area Most Valuable Player by Lee Central Coast News.
Knight emerged as first-year head coach C.J. Simmons’s walking 20-point threat, as Knight used his long range shooting stroke from behind the arch and fearlessness for attacking the lane to emerge as one of the top players in the area.
Knight, though, isn’t one to lounge in his own credentials. He’s more zoned in on chasing a CIF Southern Section Division 3A title and state playoff berth now.
“It’s a good honor. I like it. But I’m more focused on CIF because we got knocked out in the second round last year and I don’t want that to happen now,” Knight said. “So my main focus is to do what I can to help my teammates and get them to help me so we can advance to the next round.”
His coach and older cousin Simmons has not only witnessed his own family member blossom into Cabrillo’s latest round ball sensation, but has watched Knight’s affinity for wanting to improve.
“I’ve witnessed LeAndrew’s love and passion for the game as a young kid. I’ve seen his work ethic then and it’s now coming full circle for him,” Simmons said. “For him to be honored as the league MVP last year and to continue the drive and what he’s had going on for Cabrillo basketball has been awesome. It’s just a testimony to the person that he is.
“I think LeAndrew has clearly set himself as, possibly, one of the best to come through here.”
Colleges in the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference have taken notice of Knight as Utah State, Boise State and Utah Valley State have asked about the rising Class of 2018 basketball prospect so far. And Knight is slowly becoming a local celebrity in Vandenberg Village, as young kids have not only tried to latch onto to him, but has gotten the community to sing their praises to him.
Knight, however, reminds people that he’s still not a complete model on the court yet.
“I’m not even close to where I want to be,” Knight said. “I still need to improve on a lot of things from my shot, my defense and even my vertical. There’s a lot that I still need to work on. I say thanks, but I know I’m not the player I can be yet. So I stay humble and confident.”