A dif­fer­ent path

Bas­ket­ball: For­mer West Ranch player an­nounces com­mit­ment

The Signal - - Sports - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Ed­i­tor

It’s fairly easy to pin­point Austin Galuppo’s ar­rival to Foothill League bas­ket­ball. In 2014, in West Ranch’s sea­son opener against View­point, Galuppo drained a buzzer-beater 3-pointer for a 68-67 win. He was a fresh­man.

“I felt like I was in a movie,” Galuppo said. “I made the shot, the game was over and the stu­dent sec­tion rushed the court and sur­rounded me. I felt like I was in some type of bas­ket­ball movie. One of the best feel­ings I’ve ever had.”

Now, Galuppo is primed to ar­rive to the col­lege bas­ket­ball scene after com­mit­ting to We­ber State in Og­den, Utah on Wed­nes­day.

The 6-foot-5 shoot­ing guard took an un­con­ven­tional route to a col­lege com­mit­ment. After grad­u­at­ing from West Ranch in 2018, he opted to play at Scot­land Cam­pus, a post-high school prep school in Penn­syl­va­nia, for a year.

“I think Austin was ap­pre­cia­tive of the of­fers he had, but I think he was smart in the fact that he re­ally wanted to play one more year against top com­pe­ti­tion and find the right fit,” said Sean McKil­lop, who coached Galuppo at West Ranch. “With one more year of top com­pe­ti­tion, it would give schools an­other year to eval­u­ate him at that level.”

Galuppo ex­celled at Scot­land Cam­pus, fine-tun­ing his game and putting on 25 pounds of mus­cle. He also be­came close friends with Ju­dah Jor­dan, who com­mit­ted to We­ber State last Oc­to­ber.

Jor­dan half-jok­ingly pestered the WSU coach­ing staff about get­ting Galuppo added to the 2019 re­cruit­ing class, but the school didn’t have any of­fers to ex­tend at the time. But when a We­ber State player trans­ferred, the coach­ing staff phoned Galuppo.

“I had to try and act calm,” Galuppo said, “but I was like jump­ing up and down try­ing to … I wanted to scream out be­cause I was su­per happy. They’re a re­ally good bas­ket­ball school.”

ranked sec­ond in the Big Sky Con­fer­ence. The school has pro­duced mul­ti­ple NBA prod­ucts, in­clud­ing Damian Lil­lard of the Port­land Trail­blaz­ers

Galuppo will be bring­ing ef­fi­cient shoot­ing and an affin­ity for 3-point­ers to WSU. He sur­passed the 2,000 ca­reer point mark in his se­nior sea­son at West Ranch.

“My mom said I started shoot­ing into a trash can at like one,” Galuppo said of when his first shots started to fall. “And then she got me a lit­tle bas­ket­ball hoop and I would just sit there and shoot for hours. I was the eas­i­est kid be­cause if I had a bas­ket­ball hoop, I’d sit there for hours on end.”

Galuppo used those abil­i­ties to ce­ment a place in Foothill League boys bas­ket­ball and make an im­pact at one of the top post-high school pro­grams in the coun­try. Next, he’ll have the op­por­tu­nity to dis­play what the Santa Clarita Val­ley al­ready knows about on the Divi­sion 1 stage.

“Ev­ery­one’s path is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent. He made the right move with the right prep school,” McKil­lop said. “Some­times these de­ci­sions take a lit­tle bit longer and a lot of kids jump on some­thing and it’s not the right fit, but it’s their only op­tion. Austin had the con­fi­dence and skill set to let that go and I think it paid off.”

Sig­nal file photo

For­mer West Ranch boys bas­ket­ball player Austin Galuppo comit­ted to We­ber State on Wed­nes­day. Galuppo sur­passed 2,000 ca­reer points in his se­nior sea­son with the Wild­cats.

Sig­nal file photo

Austin Galuppo (left) played at Scot­land Cam­pus in Scot­land, Penn­syl­va­nia for a year, which helped him land a spot in We­ber State’s 2019 re­cruit­ing class.

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