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The Changer

Maverick Ahanmisi helped bring about change at Golden Valley High

Posted: April 10, 2009 1:16 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
With no slight to the other sports in the Santa Clarita Valley, there are two that bring out the crowds more than any other sport — football and basketball.

Therefore, a big part of a school’s identity is wrapped around the success of these two programs in particular.

Golden Valley High hasn’t had much of an identity in the five years since it opened its doors.

Actually, maybe it has had an identity — a negative one.

But in the winter of 2008-09, a change occurred.

And Maverick Ahanmisi helped change a school’s identity.

People started coming in droves to witness Golden Valley’s boys basketball team.

Team is such a great word to describe the Grizzlies because from night to night they would receive a big contribution from a different player.

But it was evident that Ahanmisi stood out.

Maybe it was because we’ve heard his exotic name since he was a sophomore.

Or maybe because when he stepped up, he stepped way up.

Maverick Ahanmisi is The Signal’s selection as the 2008-09 All-Santa Clarita Valley Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

He joins Seth Totten, who was the 2008 All-SCV Boys Runner of the Year, as the only Golden Valley High athletes in history to be selected as players of the year.

As Totten brought so much pride to the school in the fall, Ahanmisi brought so much in the winter in front of the loudest gymnasium in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The three-year varsity starter, known for his ability to shoot from all points of the floor and quiet leadership, had his finest season.

As a sophomore, he led his team with 12.8 points per game. As a junior, he led the Grizzlies again at 15.8 points per game. This past season, his 20.1 points per game were tops for a loaded Grizzlies team that won 27 games.

His pièce de résistance came Feb. 25 in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIA playoffs when he scorched Foothill of Santa Ana for 41 points.

It wasn’t so much the points that stood out, but the way Ahanmisi scored them.

His fall-away, off-balanced, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the first half was Jordan-like.

Shot after shot was jaw-dropping.

And make no mistake, it wasn’t just one performance that puts Ahanmisi above all others in 2008-09 — it’s a collection of performances.

Even on off-nights he was able to score points, be it by free-throw shooting or by a relentless will that kept telling him to shoot.

The school’s all-time leading scorer helped lead his Grizzlies to the Division IIIA semifinals.

He may have also helped change the landscape at Golden Valley High.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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