Grooms leads Cru from outside

June 19, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Throughout the Cru's basketball season, shooting guard Andrew Grooms had been averaging only seven points per game.

On June 12 Grooms broke out of his slump for the Cru — a 16-year-old and under El Centro-based basketball team — as he dropped 31 points on El Centro's First Baptist Church team, leading the Cru to a 93-58 victory in a basketball shoot-out in El Centro.

The bulk of his points came from behind the three-point arc, as he nailed seven treys.

"They just left me open and I kept making my shots. If I'm on fire, then I'm going to keep shooting," said the 13-year-old, 5-foot-4 Grooms, whose 31 points were the most he's scored in his four years with the Cru. "Usually when I'm playing I'll look to shoot the three-pointer. But if I'm not hitting them, I'll either step closer and try to do something else or just pass the ball."


If he continues to play as he did against First Baptist, he won't need to pass much at all. As the team's starting shooting guard, his role is to score first and pass second. While he is one of the youngest players on the team, scoring is a responsibility he said is fine with him.

Grooms regularly faces players who are about three years older, but facing older players is what he thinks makes him better.

The Cru has compiled a 23-8 record this season against teams from the Imperial Valley and San Diego areas.

"He's just been amazing. As long as I've been coaching in the Valley I haven't seen anything or anyone close to what he's capable of doing," said Cru coach Von Gaines. "I kind of had a feeling he'd bust out with a game like this. He's capable of doing it and he just has the desire to be the best out there.

"Even though he's still kind of young, my confidence in him is sky high. I've been coaching him for four years and I know what he can do," Gaines said. "When he gets into one of those grooves there isn't anything he can't do. Just watching him play is like the beauty of art."

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles