Valencia junior Noah Veluzat was named the 2020 All-Foothill League Boys Basketball Player of the Year Tuesday morning after his first complete season with the Vikings and helped lead them to their second-straight Foothill League title.
“It was just an extreme honor to know that all the hard work paid off,” Veluzat said in a phone interview. “It’s a good feeling to know that coming into a new place was a great fit for me. To be successful in a new place is a good sign.”
To anyone who watched the Vikings this season, it was clear Veluzat holds a special kind of talent. He created opportunities for not only himself but his teammates, as well.
“I thought he had a phenomenal league season where he led us in scoring, rebounding and assists,” said Valencia head coach Bill Bedgood in a text message. “His consistency and poise were very rare for a junior.”
Most players have a moment that locks up the Player of the Year award for them. The phrase “MVP Moment” gets thrown around a lot when talking about who should win the accolade. However, Veluzat believes he never had a specific moment. Instead, the culmination of everything he did this season propelled him to the top.
“I think it was just the consistency throughout the season,” he said.
Veluzat averaged 18 points, six rebounds and five assists per game throughout the season. In league games alone, he nearly averaged a triple-double with 21 points, eight assists and eight rebounds per game. He even recorded a triple-double three times in league play.
“I pride myself on being good in all areas of the game,” he said. “Every aspect of the game I want to be good at and dominate at to give my team the best chance to win always.”
The standout junior also achieved a few milestones during the 2020 campaign. He surpassed 1,000 career points and 800 career assists this year to add to his Player of the Year resume.
“Those are just things that came along with playing hard,” Veluzat said. “They were just bonuses on top of a great year. They just happened. They were pretty cool to see.”
The impressive numbers he put up all season gave the Vikings a strong base to build a 24-6 season on and capture a Foothill League title after a 9-1 league performance. That earned them a first-round bye in the CIF-Southern Section Ford Boys Basketball Division 1 Championships and a quarterfinal berth.
However, league titles and quarterfinal games aren’t enough for Veluzat. He’s hungry for more. He had a taste of what a championship is like during his freshman year when he played for Santa Clarita Christian School. Now, he’s determined to bring that glory to Valencia.
“I feel like a league championship is expected and what you should do. A CIF-SS championship is something special. It’s something that’s never been done in Valencia history. That’s the main goal for next year.”
The 2020-21 season is Veluzat’s last chance to achieve that goal before he graduates high school, but he has a plan. He hopes to impart some wisdom on the younger players and lead them to a deep run into the postseason next year.
“I also look forward to helping the younger kids that are coming up to varsity,” Veluzat said. “With my experience, I know what it takes and I’m going to lead by example with how I play and how I act on and off the court. I also want to show them what it takes to get a college scholarship.”
With his junior year coming to a close, Veluzat has begun to receive interest from several colleges around the nation. Stanford, Drexel, Princeton, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania are just a few.
“It’s been a pretty cool ride this year to finally see all of that happening,” Veluzat said.
With just the short version of the list of schools that have shown interest in him, it’s clear that Veluzat has a bright future ahead of him. But for now, he’ll continue to treat the Santa Clarita Valley to his special brand of basketball.
Dillon Barrientos – Junior, Hart
Ty Penberthy – Senior, Hart
Adrian McIntyre – Senior, Saugus
Nathan Perez – Sophomore, Saugus
Jake Hlywiak – Senior, Valencia
Jonah El-Farra – Senior, West Ranch
Anthony Gallo – Senior, Canyon
Brady Dunlap – Freshman, Hart
Junior Camacho – Senior, Valencia
Kevin Konrad – Senior, Valencia
Max Morales – Senior, West Ranch
Clyde Seo – Senior, West Ranch
Matt Heyne – Sophomore, Canyon
Benicio Preciado – Senior, Golden Valley
Isaac Deedon – Junior, Hart
Davis White – Sophomore, Saugus
Grant Kim – Senior, Valencia
Andrew Meadow – Freshman, West Ranch