Forward Jonathan Guzman signing a national letter of intent to Hope International University. He will be receiving a two-year scholarship to attend the program. Photo credit: Malik Smith

Hope for Jonathan Guzman, after signing with local university

May 21, 2018

Falcons’ men’s basketball player Jonathon Guzman signed to Hope International University on May 16.

He will suit up for the Royals for the next two seasons.

Hope is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division 1 University and a private Christian school.

The Royals play in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Hope International had a very good season last year, according to their record, as they posted an overall record similar to the Falcons at 25-6 and went 11-3 in the GSA conference.

A big requirement for Guzman in his recruiting process was staying in California and if it was not a school in California it had to be a Division 1 school, which is the cream of the crop amongst universities.

Guzman got exactly what he wanted though with this deal, he gets to further his education and athletics while being very close to home.

Hope offered Guzman a full scholarship for two years.

Guzman talked about his expecatations for how the next level will be, he said, “I feel I can come in and make an impact right away in the right direction I want to be able to start for Hope one day and maybe even win a ring.”

Although HIU was not Guzman’s only offer, he had many other schools interested in his athletic ability.

Some of the other schools interested were Cal State Dominguez, Greenville University and Biola University.

The 6-foot-7 big man averaged nine points and six rebounds, while shooting a sizzling 66 percent from the field in 2017-18, a percentage that lead the entire California Community College Athletics Association.

He helped his team to a 27-6 record and a berth in the Final Four in his last semester.

Guzman played in all, but one game for the Falcons in the 2017-18 season, starting 11 games, including in the Final Four game, after Jason Carter went down with a sprained ankle.

He was also second on the team in rebounds per game.

Guzman stated after signing that he is really proud of himself, because it had been a very hard year for him with all of the losses in his life.

He mentioned the impact the loss of former Cerritos College men’s basketball Coach Criss Freeman had on him, Freeman passed earlier this year.

Although Guzman lost a father figure in his life with Freeman passing away during the Falcons’ basketball season, it motivated him to keep going and be strong, according to Guzman.

The motivation from his hard times influenced him to work even harder, to accomplish his goals in their honor.

He talked about what the biggest challenge will be for him, he said, “I will need to learn the plays and a brand new offense as fast as possible and also get used to working out every day, because these players will be better.”

Guz, as he’s known by teammates, said he loves the fact that his family and friends will be able to attend the home games because the school is so close to home, which was a priority for him during the entire recruiting process.

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