It’s fairly easy to pinpoint Austin Galuppo’s arrival to Foothill League basketball. In 2014, in West Ranch’s season opener against Viewpoint, Galuppo drained a buzzer-beater 3-pointer for a 68-67 win. He was a freshman.
“I felt like I was in a movie,” Galuppo said. “I made the shot, the game was over and the student section rushed the court and surrounded me. I felt like I was in some type of basketball movie. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Now, Galuppo is primed to arrive to the college basketball scene after committing to Weber State in Ogden, Utah on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard took an unconventional route to a college commitment. After graduating from West Ranch in 2018, he opted to play at Scotland Campus, a post-high school prep school in Pennsylvania, for a year.
“I think Austin was appreciative of the offers he had, but I think he was smart in the fact that he really wanted to play one more year against top competition and find the right fit,” said Sean McKillop, who coached Galuppo at West Ranch. “With one more year of top competition, it would give schools another year to evaluate him at that level.”
Galuppo excelled at Scotland Campus, fine-tuning his game and putting on 25 pounds of muscle. He also became close friends with Judah Jordan, who committed to Weber State last October.
Jordan half-jokingly pestered the WSU coaching staff about getting Galuppo added to the 2019 recruiting class, but the school didn’t have any offers to extend at the time. But when a Weber State player transferred, the coaching staff phoned Galuppo.
“I had to try and act calm,” Galuppo said, “but I was like jumping up and down trying to … I wanted to scream out because I was super happy. They’re a really good basketball school.”
Weber State is currently ranked second in the Big Sky Conference. The school has produced multiple NBA products, including Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers
Galuppo will be bringing efficient shooting and an affinity for 3-pointers to WSU. He surpassed the 2,000 career point mark in his senior season at West Ranch.
“My mom said I started shooting into a trash can at like one,” Galuppo said of when his first shots started to fall. “And then she got me a little basketball hoop and I would just sit there and shoot for hours. I was the easiest kid because if I had a basketball hoop, I’d sit there for hours on end.”
Galuppo used those abilities to cement a place in Foothill League boys basketball and make an impact at one of the top post-high school programs in the country. Next, he’ll have the opportunity to display what the Santa Clarita Valley already knows about on the Division 1 stage.
“Everyone’s path is a little bit different. He made the right move with the right prep school,” McKillop said. “Sometimes these decisions take a little bit longer and a lot of kids jump on something and it’s not the right fit, but it’s their only option. Austin had the confidence and skill set to let that go and I think it paid off.”