September 8, 2014

Albright with a shiny future

Kevin McCarthy

What's getting into the water up Humboldt County way? Nate Ambrosini is at Chico State, Justin Claus may be at College of the Redwoods for just one year, Fortuna High's Daniel Teasley is readying for a breakout season and now 6-foot-5 Ben Albright of the 2015 class at Arcata High is joining in on the action.

photo of Ben Albright

Albright initially drew attention with his play as a member of the Humboldt Wild in this May's Bay Area Memorial Day Classic: “Versatile wing who is best suited on the perimeter but also has a back to basket game. Will take and make the 3 when available, has good vision with ball, passes well out of the high post. High motor and plays with a chip on his shoulder, gets involved with a lot of plays, can guard the perimeter or four man.”

That sure sounds like someone who can help wherever he is positioned on the court.

Issac Gildea, the coaching director of the Wild, believes Albright is right on the cusp, offering this: “Ben can be like lightning in a bottle as I've seen him make seven 3's in one quarter. He's wiry strong, about 190 pounds, and can really score it and finish around the rim. He can also post up and shoot and sometimes I have to urge him to shoot more. He never hurts the team with taking a bad shot. Ben is also starting to see the game ahead of time. He's extremely competitive and can't stand to lose.”

Just back from a two week visit volunteering at a wildlife reserve in the Republic of Zimbabwe in southern Africa, Albright comes with some strong basketball genetics as his mother is a member of the Arcata High Hall of Fame for her prep basketball exploits. Combine what was passed on with his father's 6-foot-5 height and Albright is certainly one to monitor.

Asked for his best hoops talent, he offered, “My shooting.” Conversely, he views his dribbling as an element needing the most work.

It was a bevy of sports for Albright growing up but basketball became his sole athletic pursuit "because I liked it the best."

As for his aforementioned competitiveness, “I've always been that way.”

What's interesting is the dual roles in which he has performed. “In high school, I'm a guard but I play more of a post with the Wild.”Because of that multi-purpose use, he's not sure as yet where he will primarily be positioned at the next level.

Like with other prospects from the area, Albright plays in his share of open gyms with players from Humboldt State and also College of the Redwoods. Rather modestly, he said of those matchups, “I do fine.”

There is also a younger brother who already measures out at 6-foot-5 so Arcata High basketball and the Albright family will likely be twined together even further into the future.