By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres Highs Sandhu, Hughes earn first-team all-conference honors
Senior Inder Sandhu (pictured right) was the Ceres High varsity boys basketball teams best player during the 2017-18 campaign. The Western Athletic Conference first-team honoree averaged 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys basketball program had two of the top players in the Western Athletic Conference this year.

Inder Sandhu and Elijah Hughes were both recognized in vote by the WAC's head coaches on Feb. 27 in Ceres.

"It's a huge honor," Inder said. "I'm thankful."

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of six, Sandhu requires insulin injections to survive.

Inder wore an insulin pump while competing for the Bulldogs.

The device was attached to his waist.

"Sometimes, I had to give myself injections before games," Sandhu said. "There were a few times I got lightheaded while playing because my blood sugar was low. I had to sit out for a little bit. It's part of my life. I'm used to it."

Sandhu, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard/small forward, ranked second in scoring and fifth in rebounding in the WAC.

He averaged 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Inder shot 83 percent (19 of 23) from the free-throw line.

"He showed he was an MVP-caliber player," Bulldogs head coach T.J. Walker said.

"I got better in all aspects of the game," Sandhu said. "I was more confident. I just tried to do everything on the court to help my team win."

Inder scored 20-plus points in each of Ceres High's final four games.

He totaled 99 points against Patterson (20), Livingston (28), Pacheco (29) and Central Valley (22).

"He understood what I wanted from him," Walker said. "He played at a very high level. He scored the ball in many different ways."

"It (being a senior) was definitely motivation," Sandhu said. "I wanted to end my career on a good note. I definitely wanted to play my best every game."

Inder plans to play basketball at the college level.

"I have a few Division-III schools I'm looking at," he said. "I'd like to stay local. But if there's a better option outside, I'm willing to go."

Hughes, a 6-foot-3 junior post player, ranked fourth in scoring and second in rebounding in the WAC.

He averaged 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Elijah shot 62 percent (40 of 65) from the field.

"He got better throughout the year," Walker said. "He's still learning the game. He has an upside. He opened my eyes for the future. We're expecting big things from him next season."

Patterson won the conference's two major awards.

Kwaheri Rue was voted WAC MVP.

Jason McCleery was named Coach of the Year.

Central Valley's Max Sanchez earned second-team all-league honors.

The Bulldogs compiled a 5-5 record on their way to a fourth-place finish in the WAC standings.

Patterson (10-0) claimed the team title.

Livingston (6-4) and Los Banos (6-4) tied for second.

Central Valley (3-7) and Pacheco (0-10) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

The top three teams in the WAC qualified for playoffs.

The Bulldogs won three of their final five league games.

Ceres High topped Livingston, Pacheco and Central Valley.

"They played their best basketball the last two weeks," Walker said. "I didn't want the season to end."

"We had something to play for," Sandhu said. "We were close to securing a playoff spot. It was definitely disappointing not going. We expected to be in playoffs."