By Marlen Chinos
Around campus he may look like your average college student, but on the court he proves to be anything but ordinary.
Daniel Rodriguez, a fourth-year business student at Cal Poly Pomona, has carried a love for basketball from birth.
He attributes his love for the sport to his family.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was born, basically,” said Rodriguez. “It runs in my family. Growing up everybody use to tell me how good my dad was, and the rest of my family just played.
“My dad played basketball in high school. I have a younger sister that plays in high school right now.”
A 2011 graduate of Bishop Amat High School, Rodriguez graduated with a 3.0 grade point average and honor roll recognition.
He earned a spot on the All-CIF First Team as a junior and as a senior.
Rodriguez was also selected to the All-San Gabriel Valley First Team as a senior.
For the 2010-11 season, he was chosen as the Del Rey League Most Valuable Player.
When applying for colleges, Rodriguez knew that CPP was the school for him.
“I grew up down the street ” I live in Covina ” so I heard how good they were and when I got to high school I heard that they won national championship,” said Rodriguez. “It was just a dream to come and play here, because they are so local and they are so good at basketball.
When applying to colleges, this was my top school.”
At first glance, Rodriguez may not look like your average and stereotypical college basketball player.
“What’s great about Daniel, we always tease him, is that he doesn’t look like a basketball player,” said Greg Kamansky, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “When he walks on the court, sometimes teams aren’t quite intimidated by him.
“But if you ever try to guard him, he is as strong as an ox. He is one of the strongest players we have, and he has worked hard to where he’s got.”
As point guard for the Broncos’ men’s basketball team, Rodriguez has become a key contributor to the Bronco’s success throughout the years.
“What he does great is that he just gives us a steadying, solid presence out there on the court, which as a point guard is what you need,” said Kamansky. “He brings some physical toughness and some mental toughness out on the court that holds the team together when things aren’t going well so much.”
However, during his freshman year Rodriguez’s talents were almost overlooked.
“We were going to bench him his freshman year, but some injuries happened and we were running low on numbers, and he ended up contributing,” said Kamansky.
“It was a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff, and ever since then he is pretty much a fixture in our lineup.”
While attending CPP, Rodriguez has had to work hard in order to balance school and sport.
“He is the guy that has commuted from home for four years,” said Kamansky. “It’s not like he’s on campus. He has really had to work hard; he has had to work off the court.
“He’s done some great things that a normal student or student athlete does not necessarily do.”
Rodriguez has played a total of 17 games this season, averaging 5.8 points per game.
His highest point total this season is 21 in a game against Westmont College.
Rodriguez’s career season came in the 2013-14 season, where he played and started in all 29 games for the Broncos.
He averaged 6.1 PPG, 5.3 assists per game and snagged an impressive 155 total rebounds for that season.
Rodriguez has quickly become one of the better rebounding point guards for the Broncos.
It is clear that the team will miss Rodriguez’s presence on the court, as he nears his final months at CPP.
“He is such a great person, a great kid,” said Kamansky. “We’re going to really miss him after this season.
“He’s been such a great person to coach, and such a loyal kid. They are not out there much.”
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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