Joseph Medrano’s impressive shot has earned him a shot to play for the University of Manitoba Bison’s men’s basketball team.
The Bisons announced its recruitment of the Sisler High School shooting guard for its upcoming 2014-2015 season on May 23. As captain of the Sisler Spartans, Medrano was named Manitoba High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) AAAA Player of the Year in April.
"Joe is a very talented scorer," said Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp. "He showed that during his years at Sisler and his time with the Manitoba provincial team at the Canada Summer Games. He can fill it (the net) up. There was no question that he was the best shooter in the province this year."
Medrano, 18, led Sisler to the final four in the MHSAA provincial championship this past season. A big-time scorer, in a game against Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute earlier in the season, Medrano scored a whopping 56 points.
When it comes to putting the ball in the net, Medrano said it’s practice that makes perfect.
"It’s all about repetitions," Medrano said. "If you’re practising something wrong, then you’re going to do it wrong later on. Everything you do has to be 100 per cent and proper."
Sisler coach Scott Martin, a Bisons alumus, said Medrano’s ability to shoot the ball opens up space for his teammates. Medrano agrees with Martin.
"I think I’ll stretch the floor for sure, forcing the defence to close out on me which leaves the middle lanes open for the bigger guys to drive," Medrano said.
At six feet and 160 pounds, Medrano is an undersized two guard. Schepp said Medrano will have to train hard if he wants to contribute to the Bisons.
"Like most guys coming out of high school, it’s a very big jump strength-wise and athletically," Schepp said. "We’re looking forward to Joe spending a summer in the weight room getting bigger and stronger, improving his athleticism and his decision making, the same kind of things every first year guy comes along with.
"But, in terms of his skill level, especially offensively, he’s really far ahead of the curve and that’s the biggest reason we recruited him."
Schepp said he’s looking forward to the Bisons 2014-2015 season after a somewhat disappointing 2013-2014 campaign, due to the loss of stars Stephan Walton, who suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss the entire season, and Yigit Ozsayiner, who had to return to Turkey partway through the season due to visa issues.
"That was our two best offensive guys going down, so we struggled a little bit, but the result was a bunch of first year guys got a ton of minutes and it was very good for them and good for us in the long term," said Schepp, noting Walton will return to the Bisons next season.
"We’re looking for those young guys to build on that, and adding Joe and a couple other pieces should help us take the next step."