Keanda Chavez spent time with ‘Select’ group of players
Magdalena High School’s Keanda Chavez was part of a select group of girls basketball players from New Mexico who last month came home winners from the prestigious Nike Summer Showcase played at sites in suburban Chicago.
Chavez, a senior this year, played for a team called New Mexico Select, which beat out 31 other teams to win its division at a showcase tournament that attracts dozens of college recruiters.
“Keanda’s been playing a lot of basketball aside from what she did with us,” said MHS head coach Wally Sanchez. “She’s played on that AAU team out of Albuquerque the last two years.”
Sanchez said playing for New Mexico Select, a traveling team made up of some of the more promising players in the state, is a good opportunity. The athletes get to take their game to a higher level and test their skills against other top players.
“It’s a real good situation for girls who have college aspirations,” Sanchez said. “There are a lot of college basketball coaches that come around and watch.”
Chavez was one of the players singled out in a report published in the Cibola County Beacon. Assistant coach Marty Zeller was quoted as saying Chavez and Sydney Mares of Grants were instrumental in sparking the New Mexico girls in the championship game against Team Xpress Gold, a team out of Texas.
“Sydney and Keanda just shut down their two best players, and this took the life out of the rest of their team,” Zeller said. “It was really amazing to see those girls step up and carry the team defensively.”
New Mexico Select lost just one game at the tournament, a one-point defeat to an Idaho squad during pool play. They escaped the semifinals with a win in triple overtime but won the championship game by a comfortable margin.
— T.S. Last