August 29, 2014

Teasley new leader at Fortuna

Kevin McCarthy

So which college assistant coaches want to upsize their recruiting bonafides? Now it may take a trip north past the Redwood Curtain into Humboldt County but, at last look, that's still part of the Golden State. So who is the attraction? It's Daniel Teasley who plays for Fortuna High and the Humboldt Wild.

photo of Daniel Teasley

The 6-foot-1 Teasley first garnered Bay Area notice with his play in this year's Bay Area Memorial Day Classic: “Maybe the best slasher out of the varsity division, breaks down defender with the dribble and then attacks the rim hard. He favors the reverse finish but not because of lack of strength, type of player that gets to the line often. If he had a better perimeter shot he would be a nightmare for opponent.”

And the kicker is Teasley's top talent is defending, actually make that discouraging opponents from even participating in the offense. That and rebounding as he has been the top boardman for Fortuna since his ascent to the varsity.

Issac Gildea, the Humboldt Wild director of coaches and holder of long distance shooting records at both Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods, said of Teasley: “Daniel is very competitive, the best defender on the team and a willing passer who can see the next play in advance -- he knows where the ball needs to go. He can also get to the hoop anytime he wants and is pretty athletic, He has been working on his shooting consistency and will get the opportunity this season to show his outside shot.”

When asked to detail his best talents, Teasley offered, “driving and defense.” His propensity for the latter developed due to the makeup of the Huskies team when he joined the varsity as a sophomore -- “I always played hard but Nate [Ambrosini] and Justin [Claus] were the top offensive priorities when I got on varsity. So I guarded the best offensive player and worked to make my man give the ball up.”

His top scoring game thus far was 27 points against McKinleyville High as a sophomore. He earned all league honors as a junior.

This coming season, with Ambrosini now at Chico State and Claus at College of the Redwoods, Teasley will also now enjoy the opportunity of plying his trade as a guard, his normal position and thus displaying more of his offensive repertoire.

What he has put time in working on the most this summer is shooting. “I've really put time in, especially on stepbacks and fadewaways.”

One aspect of his routine for better his game is going up against players from both Humboldt State and College of the Redwoods in open gyms during the off season. Teasley noted that coming back to play against opponents his own age is certainly less daunting after pairing off against collegians.

As for basketball influences, he cites a few. “My Dad, Allen Iverson and Derrick Rose.” For the youngsters, Iverson was famous for his fearless penetration into the paint challenging centers and power forwards. Rose is a current player in the Bog Show known for his all-around play and getting to the foul line on dribble-drives.

Teasley sports a 3.1 grade point average and initially was leaning towards nutrition as a college major but now it's between business and kinesiology.

Fortuna High is coming off a 26-4 overall, 8-0 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League season and also will have a new person at the helm in Brian Franklin. “We should be pretty good,” Teasley said, adding that the Huskies offense will be more wide open than in the past.

In a sense, the 2014-15 go-around will be a new beginning for Teasley. “I've been more of a defensive guy who gets a lot rebounds and scraps for points but now I'll be playing on the perimeter, shooting threes and attacking.”

Hey, with so many prospects off limits due to grades, attitude, handlers, parents and more, a road trip up 101 to Fortuna must sound pretty tempting.

Plus, all this doesn't even detail Teasley's prowess in baseball where he plays shortstop, third base, centerfield and pitcher for Fortuna. He sees hitting as his best skill and can picture himself focusing on shortstop or centerfield in college.

Maybe Teasley will be a multi-sport participant at the next level.