Ceres High varsity boys basketball standout Elijah Hughes managed to earn all-league honors during his final season with Ceres High’s varsity boys basketball team despite being slowed by a foot injury.
Hughes, a 6-foot-3 220-pound senior post player, was selected to the WAC First Team for the second year in a row.
“It was a no-brainer,” Bulldogs’ head coach T.J. Walker Jr. said. “His named was called right away.”
Hughes fractured his right foot during the second game of the season.
“He couldn’t walk some days after games the last month and a half,” Walker said. “He’d still try to practice. He gutted it out for us. His nickname was the beast. I appreciate everything he did for our program.”
Hughes averaged 15.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on the year for Ceres High, which finished overall in the WAC standings (5-9).
He shot 57 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
He scored a career-high 34 points in a 69-51 win over Pacheco on Jan. 4. “When I first got the job, I remember him coming to our workouts after football practice,” Walker said. “He was locked in from day one. He was a great player. It was a pleasure to coach him.”
Hughes ranked second in scoring in the WAC with an 18.6 points-per-game average.
“Hands down, he was the best big man in our league. The scoring part came easy to Elijah.”Coach T.J. Walker Jr.
“Hands down, he was the best big man in our league,” Walker said. “The scoring part came easy to Elijah. He got a lot of putbacks. He could get his shot off anytime he wanted.”
Hughes’ most impressive performance came in a 45-44 loss to first-place Mountain House on Feb. 5.
He tallied 24 of his 26 points in the second half. Hughes outplayed WAC MVP Keenami Maggard.
“He could have done that all year if he was healthy,” Walker said. “It’s a shame what he had to go through his senior year. He just couldn’t move. I always wonder what would have happened if he didn’t injure his foot.”
Bulldog senior guard Christian Murry was an honorable-mention pick.
He averaged 8.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 rebounds per game.
“Christian did everything for us this year,” Walker said. “He was the ultimate utility guy.”