Gym rat: Garcia dedicates summer to preparing Lacassine for title run
Published 12:00 pm Saturday, July 2, 2022
Four hours a day, four times a week, Aaron Garcia goes to the Lacassine High School gym to work on his game in hopes of leading the Cardinals back to the state basketball tournament.
Last year, Garcia, a 6-foot guard, earned Class B all-state honors after averaging 20 points per game and leading the Cardinals to their first semifinal appearance in 15 years. After the Cardinals lost to Simsboro, Garcia showed up at Burton Coliseum, volunteering as an assistant at the scorer’s table and watching the players from the best teams in the state.
“Watching the other games, there was a lot of good competition,” he said. “Seeing them made me want to get better and get to the championship game.”
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Garcia said he’s hoping to improve on both ends of the floor in his senior season.
“I’ve been working on my shooting a lot and also trying to get better defensively,” he said. ‘Right now, finishing and passing are my biggest strengths. I can feel myself getting better this summer, especially my shooting.”
Cardinals head coach Micah Rasberry said Garcia never takes a day off.
“His work ethic is unbelievable,” Rasberry said. “He’s a true gym rat. Every day he shoots after practice. He does extra time in the weight room. He does all that on his own. He really leads the way with how he works. He is a quiet kid and won’t say much, but he’s a great leader.”
Garcia said he is working on being more vocal to help his teammates.
“I try to be there for people if they make a bad play, lift them up and tell them they’ll get the next one,” he said.
Rasberry said he puts a lot of weight on Garcia’s shoulders.
“He’s guarding the other team’s best player every night,” Rasberry said. “On top of that he scores from everywhere. He hits a lot of tough shots and has perfected a rise-up jumper. He can shoot the three. He wants to be good and he puts in the work.”
Garcia said the Cardinals have the pieces in place to make another run at the Class B state championship.
“It was great playing at the state tournament and I hope to go back,” he said. “I think we get along with each other, have good chemistry and work together well. I’ve enjoyed playing with great teammates.”