By Logan Castro, Opinion Editor
El Camino’s varsity basketball team currently has a record of four wins and four losses, coming off of a recent home-game win against Hiram Johnson. It’s still early in the season and already Mateen Rafiq (‘23) is the player to watch.
One recent game against Lick-Wilmerding ended in a loss, with a final score of 71-58. Rafiq scored more than half the points made by EC. Thirty-nine points, nine rebounds, and two assists were Rafiq’s stats just in that one game, and in the win against Balboa, he had a record of 38 points, eight assists, and 14 rebounds. In total, Rafiq has an incredible record of 245 points scored in just eight games.
Rafiq also has more impact than just his baskets, he also averages five assists, eight rebounds, and four steals in his games, which according to MaxPreps, all of those statistics are way above the national average.
Ivan Soto (‘23) is following close behind with 206 total points so far this year. Both Soto and Rafiq have been main contenders for MVP on the EC basketball team, holding a majority of the points scored on the team.
Rafiq credits his performances to his coaches and his teammates who have played a massive role in supporting his playstyle.
“Without the help of my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did—my coaches too, they help a lot off the court and on the court with building relationships,” Rafiq said.
Rafiq realizes the importance of not only running drills, but also helping with chemistry between the teammates and between the team members and coaches.
Rafiq has been a long time basketball player, and grew up playing basketball under the guidance of his dad.
“I started playing when I was three because my dad played basketball in college,” Rafiq said.
Following in the footsteps of his father, his hope is to continue playing basketball next year and continue into college.
Using basketball as his gateway into college, he also wants to focus on his academics and work on his future career goals.