Spartan Christensen rolls for the CRU


June 18, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

While some high school basketball players around the Imperial Valley don't start thinking about the season until it kicks off in November, at least one Central Union High basketball player is hard at work trying to get an edge on his competition.

As a member of the El Centro-based CRU traveling basketball team, Robert Christensen is on the hard wood day in and day out preparing for the upcoming high school season.

Last weekend in the CRU's 63-45 victory over the Coachella Valley Boys and Girls Club, the 16-year-old, who will be a junior next year, recorded 12 points and pulled down seven boards to help the CRU improve to 17-8 this year.

"We've been playing a lot of good teams with some really good players. And we know that the work we're putting in right now is helping us for the upcoming season," said the 6-foot-2 Christensen. "We've been playing teams from the Los Angeles area, San Diego area and (Coachella area). We play those tough teams so when the regular (high school) season starts it won't seem as tough."


In the 25 games the CRU has played this year, Christensen has averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

"When I'm playing out here — playing with the CRU — I work my butt off during the summer. So when the high school season rolls around it's a lot easier for me," said Christensen.

"You look at it and I'm just working out during the summer, then I play during the school year, and when that's over I start working out with the CRU. So I really have no off-season," he said. "I think my last off-season was about two days long. But that's OK, I know it's worth it."

It's that dedication to his sport and his drive to want to be the best that CRU coach and Central varsity basketball coach Von Gaines said has helped Christensen become the player he is.

"In the five years I've coached him, I've seen more growth and improvement from him than anyone else," said Gaines. "His dedication is like no other. He's the first to practice and the last to leave. You just like to see a kid like that that works hard and is dedicated.

"And when he's playing he really helps me out when he's on the court. He's like a coach on the floor," said Gaines. "The thing about him is that he's never satisfied. He's never satisfied with just being good or being good enough, he's always trying to get better and better. That's exactly what you look for in a player."

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