ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque High Basketball Coach Ron Garcia will have his usual fast talent in the back court when his team starts play Nov. 21. Garcia will also have a pair of twin towers to make for a strong front court.
The 6-foot-9 senior Marlon Cunningham returns: The post player committed to play his college ball at New Mexico his junior year. That was before the Lobos made a coaching change. Cunningham’s future as a Lobo is now uncertain, and he has an entire senior season to convince the new Lobo staff to bring him aboard.
Cunningham has worked hard in the off season, hoping to do catch the Lobos eyes again and help his team win a championship.
“I tried to work on everything,” said Cunningham. “I lost a couple of pounds and I tried to get more explosive and expand my range for my jump shot.”
Coach Garcia has noticed the difference.
“He really improved his work ethic,” said Garcia. “He improved his shooting. Everything has improved with Marlon.”
He will have help in the paint this season with 6-foot-7 Abel Bernal. Bernal has been a student at Albuquerque High since coming to the U.S. from Cuba as a freshman. Coach Garcia has wanted Bernal on the team ever since seeing his footwork in a Ballet Folklorica performance.
Bernal is a senior this season and finally playing for the Bulldogs. He only has one year of experience playing basketball, but appears to be a natural who is picking the game up fast.
“The post up moves are a little bit hard for me,” said Bernal.
Coach Garcia believes Bernal will play himself into college.
“I just think the potential for him is unlimited because he is so long and he’s got big hands and he runs,” said Garcia.
Albuquerque High will start the season on the road at Miyamura.