BOYS BASKETBALL: Nafso nailing it for WL Central, showing his merit as premiere floor general |
COMMERCE TWP - When it comes to consistency, there are few players in Metro Detroit that can boast more at the point guard position than Walled Lake Central senior Justin Nafso.
Nafso stepped into the starting floor general role this season for his team in place of his brother, Brandon, who graduated last spring. Since assuming the mantle, the younger Nafso has burst onto the scene with ferocity and flair.
While being one of the top passing guards in the area, Nafso has also proven that he can be a legitimate threat scoring the basketball. That was quite evident inCentral's narrow win over rival Walled Lake Western on Saturday, where he scored 21 points, while knocking down several big shots down the stretch.
At heart, the crafty 5-foot-9 Nafso feels he's more of a distributing point guard, trying to get others involved, but added if he needs to score, that’s something that he brings to the table as well.
"I just feel that I'm a pass first point guard" he said. "But I know when it's my time to score and I can help my team out with that, but my first priority is passing and if my team gives me the ball in a big position, I'll come through."
With the help of Nafso, the Vikings currently find themselves at the top of the race for the KLAA North title, tied with Waterford Kettering. On Thursday night, Central rallied to knock off Kettering in overtime, running their record to 14-2 behind 15 points, five assists and four steals from Nafso.
Second-year Head Coach Cuck Spolsky and his squad can clinch at least a share of a repeat league crown with a win over Waterford Mott on Friday night.
Spolsky points out that Nafso can do a little bit of everything on the court, whether its driving to the basket, creating shots for himself or teammates, as well as being the definition of a leader on and off the court.
"He does everything you would ever want from a coach's perspective" he said. "He can attack the basket, he can score off screen and rolls, he can create his own shot and then we can run some set plays for him. The best thing is that he gets other people on the team in the right spots and that's what we need. Obviously if he was 6-4 or 6-5, he'd be playing big time, but he does the best with his God given talent and I'm just very fortunate to have him on my team".
Keeping pace with the best around in the KLAA when it comes to play in the backcourt, Nafso is averaging 16 points and six assists a night. Last season, he saw time off the bench for the Vikings backing up his brother. The pair helped guide Central to an 18-5 overall record and a KLAA North title.
Nafso thinks he's improved in a number of ways since last year.
"I've made strides in a lot of ways" he said. "I've gotten bigger, my ball handling and my shooting has gotten a lot better, (as well as) my defensive skills and I just feel like I'm an overall better player than I was last year as a junior".
He credits his big brother and T.J. Warren, the Viking's all-league combo guard who graduated back in May, for a portion of his progress.
"Getting to sit behind my brother and T.J. for a year and learn from them was amazing" ot; he said. "They taught me a lot about preparation and competing. I look up to them both".
Heading into the second half of the season, Nafso is a legitimate contender for league MVP.