By Jason Cruz
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Welcome to another edition of The Layup Drill. As we head into spring, we take a look at some of the winter sports wrapping up.
Bellevue Senior Helps team to 4th place state finish
The Washington State High School Basketball tournament wrapped up in late February. Bellevue High School senior Brady Kageyama played a big part in the Wolverines placing 4th overall in state, in 3A, this season. The guard helped Bellevue High School to an undefeated 3A KingCo District season and a 25-5 overall record. He was a First Team All Kingco 3A selection.
The 6-foot guard identifies Steve Nash as his favorite basketball player of all time because of his “underdog story.” The former Phoenix Sun, Nash is a two-time MVP of the National Basketball Association. Kageyama likes Nash because he used his skill well and was very successful.
The senior’s final game ended on a high note as he led the Wolverines to a 67-55 victory over Eastside Catholic at the Tacoma Dome to take fourth place in state. Kageyama made 4 three pointers to help Bellevue get past Eastside Catholic. On his last three pointer as a high school player, he remarked that he didn’t even see it go in as the defender’s hand was in his face. The three pointer helped spur a 13-1 run to put the game out of reach. He ended up with 19 points for the game.
Kagayama has been playing club basketball since 3rd grade and even had the chance to play a tournament in Hawaii with his AAU team, Local Hoops.
UC Riverside looking to dance in March
In just his 3rd year at the helm of UC Riverside (UCR)’s basketball program, Mark Magpayo is on the verge of helping his team make it to the NCAA men’s tournament for the very first time in the school’s history. As of this writing, Magpayo’s team has a 21-11 record and is 3rd in the Big West conference. If the team wins the league’s tournament, they will receive an automatic bid into the tournament.
A Filipino American, Magpayo is the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball head coach of full Asian heritage. He was named interim head coach for the 2020-21 season and promoted to full-time head coach on May 21, 2021. Prior to his time as a college basketball head coach, Magpayo was a CEO of a real estate company.
Since his time at UCR, the Highlanders program has seen an uptick in wins. This season saw Magpayo earn his 50th win for UCR since taking over.
Son of former UFC star helps OSU win title
Trey Munoz, the son of former UFC star Mark Munoz and 2001 NCAA champion, is making his own path as a college wrestler. Munoz, an 184-pound wrestler, helped the Beavers with the Pac-12 wrestling championship earlier this month.
Munoz won each of his matches to win his weight class. The red-shirt sophomore started out his career at Arizona State, where he qualified for the NCAA Championship at the 174-pound weight class. He then transferred to Arizona State for the 2022-2023 season.
This year, Munoz is 24-2 in his second year in the 184-pound weight division.
Munoz was an amateur wrestling standout in high school as he was the California state champion at 174 pounds and a two-time state finalist. He was undefeated as a senior and the Orange County (CA) Boys Wrestler of the Year.
His father, Mark Munoz, was a celebrated college wrestler who won the NCAA Division I title in 2001 at Oklahoma State University. Munoz moved into the sport of mixed martial arts and was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). He was 8-6 in the UFC and had a 14-6 overall mixed martial arts record with his final match occurring in 2015 in the Philippines.
Jason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.