April 14, 2015

Pineiro's perseverance pays

Kevin McCarthy

If you look up the word patience, chances are a photograph of Isaiah Pineiro will accompany the definition because he is the living embodiment of that virtue. Actually, he further extended himself beyond tolerating and accepting delay by improving his skills set and now he is headed to Portland State of the Big Sky Conference.

photo of Isaiah Pineiro

A 2013 Placer High graduate who just completed his freshman year of eligibility at Sierra College, Pineiro averaged 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a game while shooting 46% overall and 66% at the foul line.

But what about the 2013-14 season, the missing year? “I grayshirted [at Sierra],” Pineiro explained. “I was patient but it was so hard, probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was working so hard but didn't see results immediately.”

There was another element that make sitting out difficult. “We underachieved and I was wondering if the results would have been different if I played?” But in that period of time, “I developed more as a player and became bigger, faster and stronger. I also learned how to play at the college level.”

After his senior season in high school, “I was under-recruited. I had potential but wasn't the most talented. Sacramento State wanted me to walk-on but I thought I could earn a scholarship if I really worked hard.”

So why Portland State and Head Coach Tyler Geving? “It's [a program] going in the right direction and the coaching staff is topnotch. The school is right downtown, I loved the campus and I love Portland the town. On my visit, I worked out with a couple of guys and it was like we had been playing together for a long time.”

Pineiro added,, “I'll bring positive energy, leadership, physical and mental toughness and competitiveness. I give 110% whether we're up by 10 or down by 10 -- I love to compete.”

A vocal proponent of junior college basketball, Pineiro also relishes not being in debt due to college loans. “I lived at home (while at Sierra] and now I'm getting my college education paid for.”

The Vikings run a motion offense and Pineiro expects to be positioned at the three and four spots. He'll be a business major with a minor in marketing because “it's always in demand.”

Pineiro cited a number of basketball influences in his life. “It's a lot of people. Troy Selvey, the Ponderosa High and AAU coach who always told me ‘you can do this if you work hard,’ the late Charles Jergo, a longtime Auburn area basketball coach and my high school coaches who I talked to every month.”

With three years of remaining NCAA eligibility, the self-control and perseverance Pineiro exhibited just after high school has paid off in a life-altering manner.