There was an opening — two of them, in fact — for Deraje Agbaosi of Eldorado to start his Division I basketball career this coming fall.
Instead, he is delaying it.
The Eagles’ supremely athletic forward, a second-team Class 5A All-State selection in his senior season, had D-1 offers from Houston Baptist and New Hampshire, but will instead be attending Phoenix Prep as a way to expand both his game and his profile.
Phoenix Prep is a college preparatory academy. Agbaosi said he plans to take online courses from a nearby community college.
“It helps you get better and get ready to play at that next level,” said the 6-foot-7, 204-pound Agbaosi. “It would just be better for me to get to the highest level I can reach before going to college.”
Agbaosi, 18, said he believes Phoenix Prep, which ought to provide him a healthy dose of exposure to D-1 recruiters, will have a basketball season for 2020-21, despite Arizona’s alarming rate of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
Agbaosi averaged 16.5 points and 10 rebounds for Eldorado last season, and said he is planning to travel to Phoenix at the end of July.
“With me, the biggest thing is getting better with my jump shot and transitioning my game to play on the outside,” he said.
Tristan Moore of La Cueva, a 6-6 shooting guard, also has committed to Phoenix Prep. He averaged 13 points a game last season for the Bears.
Some other signings of note:
n Del Norte guard Malik Barton has signed with New Mexico Highlands;
n Valley combo guard Seyi Oyeku has signed with Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming;
n La Cueva guard Micah Cooper has signed with Buena Vista University in Iowa.
GATORADE, CON’T.: Although there were no spring sports seasons, Gatorade made the choice earlier this year to continue to recognize top athletes who didn’t have a season.
In track and field, Sandia’s Adriana Tatum and Albuquerque Academy’s Teagun Glenn are New Mexico’s female and male athletes of the year for 2020.
Tatum, a junior, only got to run one 100-meter final this year, in Los Lunas, which she won. She won state in the 100 and 200 in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, and is the state record-holder in the 100.
Glenn, a senior, placed second in the shot put at the 2020 Great Southwest Classic Indoor Invitational, and he was a state champion last year in the javelin. He is a 16-time USATF All-American, and plans to attend (and compete for) the Air Force Academy.
ON THE RADAR: Two metro-area quarterbacks popped up on a list of the top 200 pro-style QBs in the country — for the Class of 2023.
Although, both of them were among the top 100.
Cibola sophomore Aden Chavez — who was impressive for the Cougars as a freshman last year — is rated No. 37 on this list, as put together by QBHitList.com.
La Cueva sophomore Aidan Armenta is ranked No. 90 on the same list.
FROM VALENCIA COUNTY: One of the district’s two head baseball coaching jobs is now vacant, while the other one was filled on Monday.
Shaun Reed recently resigned as Los Lunas High School’s baseball coach.
Meanwhile, the district on Monday announced that Carlos Ramirez is the new head baseball coach at Valencia, replacing Carlos Carrasco who resigned earlier this year.
THIS AND THAT: Atrisco Heritage boys basketball player Joziah Ramos, partnering with the Play It Forward initiative, chose the Boys and Girls Club of Central New Mexico as the recipient of an $11,000 grant. Ramos, the Gatorade player of the year, is going to play for Western New Mexico. … La Cueva’s Dawson Burton announced that he will be attending San Diego Mesa College, where he said he plans to play both baseball and football.