Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Carlos Saucedo ’17 dribbles the ball on the sideline. The team looks forward to entering the season with strong senior leadership.
By Jack Davis ’19
There’s three seconds left in the game.
Westview holds a 49-48 lead over Brophy at Talking Stick Resort Arena Dec. 22, 2015.
Brophy inbounds the ball. The shot is up and it doesn’t fall. The game seems all but over.
Suddenly, Carlos Saucedo ’17 darts in for the offensive rebound and rattles in a jump shot to win the game for the Broncos.
Saucedo, who plays point guard, said he hopes to carry the strides he has made in his game, like more game-winning jump shots, from his junior season into his final season donning Brophy red.
“I think as seniors, we recognize that this could possibly be our last shot at a title and potentially ending our basketball career,” Saucedo said. “We feel pressure and we want to go out with a bang. We want to produce with our school and we want to put out for the name across our chest.”
Saucedo said he realizes that his game is far from perfect.
“I definitely have a lot to learn and I know what I need to work on,” he said. “I think communication and being vocal as a leader is something that I’ll do my best at this year and hopefully I can contribute some knowledge and all I know about the game to my teammates.”
Assistant coach Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’08 praised Saucedo’s leadership ability and offensive skill set.
“Carlos brings senior leadership,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “He’s been in the program for four years now. We look to him to handle a lot of the ball handling responsibilities and as a point guard to push the ball and get us into our offensive sets … and also provide some excitement on offense as he’s a great scorer and a great shooter.”
Saucedo’s teammate Andrew Shear ’17 agreed with Mr. Pidgeon on Saucedo’s leadership.
“Carlos is a great leader and a great friend,” Shear said. “If you make a mistake he’s always right there just to back you up and keep you going. When you get down he’s always like ‘Alright, pick it up, you’ve got the next play.'”
Mr. Pidgeon and Shear said that Saucedo is always able to build his teammates up and have fun while playing the game.
“He’s always there for a good laugh,” Shear said. “Whenever you’re down, making a bad play, after practice he’ll come up to you and make a joke and he’ll always make you smile. He’s just a good leader and good to be around.”
“He loves the game,” he added. “He always works his hardest. He always gives it his all no matter whether we’re down 50 points or up 50 points.”
Mr. Pidgeon echoed the sentiment on Saucedo’s love for basketball.
“Carlos has a great attitude and he really enjoys playing the game,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “He has a lot of fun with his teammates and coaches.”
“I think he takes it very seriously between the whistles but after practice, in the off-court experiences when he gets to have with his teammates he’s always a positive presence,” he added. “He likes to have a lot of fun. He jokes around with his teammates, he jokes around with his coaches and recognizes that this is a greater part of his overall Brophy experience, which is always great to see.”
Saucedo discovered his basketball skill at a young age.
“I started playing basketball in fourth grade, my Pop Warner football coach wanted to make a basketball team out of our football players,” Saucedo said. “I was one of those [players] and I was decently good at it. Ever since then I stuck with it.”
Saucedo has been working to make his senior season one to remember.
“I’ve been in the weight room five times a week with teammates trying to develop my body and be the strongest, quickest and fastest I can be in preparation for the season,” he said. “I’m in the gym every day five to six times a week working on my craft as a point guard with my vision and everything I can do to support and contribute to the team this year and hopefully put a banner up.”
Ultimately, Saucedo hopes to play collegiate basketball.
“A personal goal of mine would be to further my basketball career into college at whatever level that might be,” Saucedo said. “But that’s not something I’m focusing on. As I play, that’s not a motive of mine. My goal this year is to do my best and play for my teammates. Hopefully that will be noticed and a [scholarship] offer will come along with the season.”
“I do know where I want to go,” he added. “I’ll soon be applying to Colorado Boulder, Utah, Utah State, Santa Clara, University of San Diego and ASU.”
Despite his 5’9, 145 lbs. frame, Saucedo can operate in the post like a forward.
“He’s got a very strong post game,” Mr. Pidgeon said.
Shear commended his southpaw teammate’s jump shot with his non-dominant hand.
“He has a really good right-handed jump shot,” he said.
While he isn’t playing basketball or spending time with friends, Saucedo likes to listen to music. There is a wide variety of music he said he enjoys listening to, including Calvin Harris, Lil Uzi Vert and Rage Against the Machine.
Saucedo said that he is grateful to be ingrained in the basketball community.
“I’m most grateful just for the opportunity just to be apart of the Brophy basketball community,” Saucedo said. “That might be something that people say all the time or that might be cliché for me to say but looking back on it as a senior, I’ve been so blessed to be apart of this community and learn so much that I have. I wouldn’t have the success that I have now if I was at any other school besides Brophy.”