By Brenna Greene
Class of 2014
SPOKANE, Wash. – Christmas comes early this year for Gonzaga men’s basketball as Angel Nunez, a talented 6-foot-8-inch forward, becomes eligible to play Dec. 21 when the Bulldogs take on Kansas State in the Wichita Wildcat Classic. The redshirt sophomore transferred from Louisville during Christmas break last year, making him eligible for the second half of this season. Click the link below to watch the recent interview with Angel.
Nunez, the first midseason transfer to Gonzaga since Micah Downs left Kansas in 2006, said his decision to transfer to Gonzaga was based on more than basketball.
“When I visited it felt really family oriented. Everyone was so together. No one was selfish. The community and the people on campus were really nice,” Nunez said.
The change did not come without some growing pains. For one thing, Louisville has nearly three times as many undergraduate students as Gonzaga.
“Taking classes was a bit of an adjustment,” he said. “Louisville was such a big school. I didn’t have to worry about the teacher really knowing me. She might know the name, but she didn’t really have to know me.”
With a year away from NCAA competition, Nunez focused on school and his on-the-court skills. In particular, Nunez says he has improved his post moves and aggressiveness. He aims to integrate this aggressiveness into all facets of his game.
“What I really want to help bring to the team is athleticism and someone who’s going to make a difference on both ends,” Nunez said. “Whether it’s hitting an open shot or getting a tough rebound.”
Watching the game from the bench has been extremely beneficial, he said.
“I learned there are a lot of plays out there that aren’t made because of fatigue,” he said. “I actually see the game a little bit from a coach’s perspective now.”
While Nunez looks forward to competing for Gonzaga, the Bulldogs welcome his debut as well. Nunez will be asked to play more of the power forward position, a change from his traditional small forward role. Nunez recognizes both the advantages and difficulties of the new position.
“Playing the ‘four’ gives me a mismatch because the ‘four’ guys aren’t as fast as me, and it will get me a lot of open shots,” he said. “But also I have to make sure I stay tough and rebound hard because the other guys have weight on me.”
Having adjusted well to his new life as a Bulldog and learned plenty in the process, Nunez is ready to compete in a Gonzaga uniform – a Christmas he will always remember.