David Nwaba, a match-up nightmare
David Nwaba has been referred to as a match-up nightmare by Jerome Jenkins, the head coach of the Santa Monica College men's basketball team.
Recently honored as the player of the year for the Western State South Conference, and named to the all-conference team as well, Nwaba is the type of player that other teams game plan for.
Playing as a guard-forward, he averaged 20.5 points per game, shot 55.3 percent, and pulled down 8.8 rebounds per game.
"He's just an all around good and versatile player," said Jenkins.
Basketball IQ is not something that shows up in stats, but is very evident when watching Nwaba on the court.
He came to SMC from Hawaii Pacific University, and spent his high school years as a standout at University High School.
"I came to SMC because I want to transfer to a Division I one school," said Nwaba.
His stellar play in his single season at SMC so far has earned him high praise from his coach.
"He is a Division I player, and if a Division I college was smart they would pick him up now so that he has three years with them," said Jenkins. "If he comes back [to SMC], he will be top five in the state."
One player that Nwaba looks up to, and tries to model his playing style after, is NBA and Miami Heat superstar LeBron James.
"I admire his ability to fit into every role as a player," said Nwaba.
James' ability to do everything on the court is a role that Jenkins asked Nwaba to step into this season.
"Coach wants me to play every role on the team, from grabbing rebounds, getting my teammates involved, getting to the basket, and scoring at will," said Nwaba.
With the season now over, Nwaba plans to continue improving his game with Jenkins in preparation for playing at a higher level. Already an efficient scorer, Nwaba is working on becoming more of a consistent shooter.
"With the numbers that he is putting up, it will be hard for a college to turn him down," said Jenkins.
Nwaba has already planned out what he wants to do after leaving SMC.
"I'd like to go to a Pac-12 school or UC Santa Barbara, but more importantly, somewhere I can play my game and fit in," said Nwaba.
Despite Nwaba's play, the Corsairs did not qualify for the playoffs this season, which only serves as motivation for him to continue improving, and to wait for those Division I schools to come calling.