COC men’s basketball’s Bradford earns All-State recognition

COC men's basketball guard averaged nearly 32 minutes per game this season. Photo courtesy Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information

College of the Canyons men’s basketball player Chris Bradford knew he had a transformative season ahead of him. Bradford, who calls himself a very ambitious person, made a major change to his lifestyle during that season.

“I turned to vegan this year,” Bradford said. “I don’t really eat meat.”

He got the idea from several college and NBA players. He loaded up on beans, pasta and the occasional PB&J sandwich in anticipation as he began his first year of basketball at Canyons.

Bradford anticipated a lot of minutes this season, and he made the most of them with help from his new eating habits and was able to earn a California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Associations (CCCMBCA) All-California Team Honorable Mention nod for the 2019-20 season.

He averaged 31.9 minutes per game — the most of any Cougar. It’s something that the freshman was easily able to handle.

COC men’s basketball’s Chris Bradford earned All-State honors after the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information

“I don’t get as tired,” Bradford said. “And me, just playing a lot of minutes this season, there’s no time to get tired.”

Additionally, he was eighth in the Western State Conference (WSC) and 33rd in the state with a scoring average of 17.8 points per game. He averaged 4.7 assists per game and 5.3 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-4 guard started in 25 out of 26 games this season.

“Being a vocal leader and just becoming a great guard,” Bradford said of his improvements in the season. “A better guard, too, and just maturing over the year.”

COC finished the season 9-17 overall and 2-17 in conference play. Bradford was able to learn a lot from the adversity of the season and the team never slowed down, constantly working on transition defense and practicing hard.

It’s also given Bradford some lofty goals for next season.

“I want to win conference,” he said. “I want to be All-Conference first team again and then I want to win All-State first team and try to go for a state championship.”

It seems attainable for Bradford, who was the first COC men’s basketball player to be named All-State since the 2016-17 season when Michael Kalu earned the accolade as a freshman.

And, of course, Bradford has the ultimate goal of transferring to an NCAA Division 1 school.

“Just try to gain a lot of offers,” he said. “Biggest part of my life right here.”

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