Posted On: 05/10/18 5:00 AM
2017-18 was a special season for RJ Veliz. Just when you thought there wasn’t any more the solid 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard could do, Veliz put together a spectacular junior campaign for Blanchet Catholic, shattering school scoring records while helping the team earn a league title and a third place trophy at state.
“It was a special group and individually I took a step forward as well,” Veliz said. “It went really good and I look forward to making more strides next year.”
Individually, Veliz was honored as the Pac West Player of the Year and earned First Team 3A All-State honors for the second year in a row. Averaging over 28 points a game, he broke the school records for points in a game (43) and career points (1,816) – with still a year to go.
Despite all that, Veliz continues to work on improving his game and has been doing that this spring with his AAU team, Hoop Salem 17U. “I think I’ve really improved my ability to create my own shot as well as my teammates,” Veliz said. “I think my athletic ability has improved even more as well.”
Colleges have paid attention to the growth. Veliz is starting to hear from a variety of schools from Division I schools such as Portland, Seattle U, University of Pennsylvania, Eastern Washington, and Idaho to Division II schools such as Western Oregon, Point Loma Nazarene, and Colorado Mesa. Colleges are interested not only in Veliz for his play on the court by the fact he is a stellar student with a near 4.0 GPA.
Veliz is hoping to attend some elite camps this summer which will allow him to take unofficial visits of campuses, with the hope that some scholarship offers come after. The sterling student athlete will then be looking for just the right fit.
“I’m looking for a program that pushes its athletes on and off the court,” Veliz said. “Also a college that has strong academics in addition to a basketball program that demands nothing but the best from their players.”