By Carleen Surrena-
It wasn’t Brandon Eboigbodin’s plan to make first-team all state for the Las Positas College men’s basketball team. But that’s what happened anyway.
He missed his freshman year due to a stress fracture in his back and sat out the entire season. Fast forward one year, recovered from injury, Eboigbodin was ready to play.
Eboigbodin was voted first-team all-state Northern California by the California Community Colleges Athletic Association his sophomore year. He is the first Hawks player to ever receive the award. He was one out of 11 players named to the first team. Eboigbodin was ranked eighth in the state in rebounds, averaged 12 points per game and shot 55.1 percent from the floor.
“When I’m on the court I try to contribute to my team’s success and winning games,” Eboigbodin said. “I put 100 percent effort every time and it was cool to be acknowl- edged for that.”
Before bringing his talents to Las Positas, Eboigbodin’s childhood was a diverse one. He grew up in five different cities over a span of 18 years due to his father Solomon’s job. Those cities included Nashville, Reno, Bishop, Redding and Tracy, where he currently lives with his parents and three younger sisters.
“He has a good support system at home,” Solomon said. “We support him 100 percent.”
Eboigbodin gives credit to his family for helping him be the person he is today. The constant moving kept his family close and also enabled him to adapt to situations and overcome adversity quickly. At first Eboigbodin did not like the constant moving but he came to enjoy it.
“You get to meet new people and make a fresh start,” he said.
Eboigbodin’s first love was football. He played it up until his sophomore year in high school. Not particularly fond of the football coach heading into his junior year and slight concerns of concussions and the toll it was taking on players helped form his decision to move on in basketball.
“I would still like to play football, but am happy with making the choice to play basketball, “he said.
After Eboigbodin graduated from Shasta College in Redding, his family was on the move again.
In Tracy, Eboigbodin signed up to take classes at Delta College. Through a friend, however, he was encouraged to look into playing basketball at Las Positas. He met with then head coach Lon Rork who put Eboigbodin on the priority registration list to get him set up with classes and come play basketball for the Hawks.
Eboigbodin began working out with the team and was ready to start his freshman year playing basketball at Las Positas. Right before conference play was to begin, Eboigbodin began to have pain in his lower back. He went to the doctor to have it checked out. The MRI revealed a fracture. Eboigbodin wasn’t sure exactly how it had happened.
“I had never been injured before and didn’t know what was going on,” Eboigbodin said. “I was just in a lot of pain.”
Eboigbodin wore a brace for five months, rehabbed, and came back from the injury. He tried out for the team again and made it, this time under new head coach James Giacomazzi.
“Brandon was outstanding this season, especially during conference play,” he said. “His versatility was a great weapon for our team as he was a tough matchup for opposing defenses. What I respect about Brandon is how he conducted his business on a daily basis. He came in early, stayed late and took care of his body. I always knew he was ready to play and was going to give his all game in and game out.”
The team went 19-10 overall and made an appearance in the community college Elite Eight to try and make history for the school this year. They fell short, but Eboigbodin’s work had been done.
This was Eboigbodin’s last year at Las Positas but he looks to continue playing basketball at a four-year college and beyond.
“My goal is to play basketball for as long as I can,” he said. “Maybe professionally and once I’m done with that I would like to coach. Hopefully with any money I have accumulated from that I would like to open my own gym to help younger players develop their skills and play at a higher level.”