April 29, 2012

Aronis heading Southwest

Kevin McCarthy

Look at 6-foot-3 Santa Rosa Junior College sophomore guard Kevin Aronis as another of those poster players, he being one who demolishes those cobwebbed declarations that your game is what it is when your senior season concludes in high school unless you sprout up another five or so inches or gain 30 pounds of delineated muscle. Aronis both advanced and added to his skills set and now the long distance operator is moving on to a Western Athletic Conference school.

photo of Kevin Aronis

He averaged 12.3 points per game as a sophomore Bear Cub for Coach Craig McMillan, shooting a remarkable 40% on 247 three-points attempts. New Mexico State has bigs standing 7-foot-5, 6-foot-11, 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-10 but is in desperate need of players who can force defenses out of the paint. The result? A suitorship resulting in a scholarship offer and now Aronis is heading to Las Cruces as an Aggie.

"It's a good fit for me," Aronis said, "The players complement each other. They have big guys and penetrators and I'll add shooting."

Continuing on, he explained, "I'll be playing the two guard. I think I'll give them that last piece they are missing because when defenses pack it in, I'll shoot threes."

As for differences or advancements in his skills set since his prep days, Aronis offered, "I'm much smarter and can read stuff easier, I have more muscle, my shooting range has expanded and I'm now guarding the best opposing guard. In high school, I wasn't a very good defender."

So why basketball for him?

"I also played baseball and was good at both [in high school] but the coaching was better in basketball so as a junior I began taking it a lot more seriously."

In a coincidence that worked in his favor, "my high school coach [Brett Page] had previously worked with Coach McMillan at Santa Rosa. When Coach Page came to Analy High, he brought the same system. I call him my biggest influence because he coached me for three years. I saw basketball as fun and a hobby and he showed me how to have a true love for the game."

Coming out of the prep ranks, Aronis was pegged as a D-II level talent. "But I thought I had more potential," Aronis said. Proving it no brag just fact, he used his two years at Santa Rosa to his utmost benefit.

What's also interesting is that his father was a tight end in football and headed to D-I until suffering a knee injury. His mother participated in the Junior Olympics, running track. Maybe the conjunction of both sports resulted in a basketball playing son.

Aronis' best Santa Rosa moment came during a 23-point effort in a loss to Yuba College. "We had four guys out injured, including our best player so we were really shorthanded. I scored 18 points in four minutes and my last three made the crowd go completely crazy."

As for a major, he is undecided but he wants to teach and coach down the road.

So it's going from Santa Rosa to Las Cruces for Aronis. If such a Spanish theme and trend upwards continues, doesn't that mean the next step will have to be San Antonio and thus the NBA?