|Former Sundevil Commits to Northern|
|Web Posted 6.8.12|
|Article courtesy Rio Grande Sun|
NM - Former Espanola Valley basketball star Matt Brito will be playing for the Northern New Mexico College Eagles after transferring from New Mexico Highlands University. He signed his transfer papers May 18 on the Northern campus.
"It's closer to home," Brito said. "I'm looking forward to playing in front of my family and friends."
A 2009 Espaņola graduate, Brito played two seasons for the Sundevils after transferring from Pojoaque High School. Both seasons the Sundevils lost in the semifinals of the Class AAAA state tournament. He spent the last two seasons at Highlands, where he saw limited playing time with the Cowboys.
"I'll get more playing time (at Northern)," Brito said.
Northern Coach Ryan Cordova is looking forward to using the 6-foot Brito as his point guard.
"He's got the muscle to take the ball to the hole strong," Cordova said. "Being so strong he'll go to the free-throw line a lot."
Northern did not win a game last season and Cordova feels Brito can help them get some much-needed wins.
"Having Matt's maturity as a player who already has college experience is a plus for us," Cordova said. "Last season, we were settling for shooting jump shots. We were looking for players who attacked the basket."
Because of a lack of height, Northern had to press and score in transition. With Brito at guard, the Eagles will be able to slow things down.
"I've always been impressed with (Brito's) half-court game," Cordova said. "Last season, it seemed we were always in a big rush to score. Matt can set the tempo."
Brito will join former Espaņola players Rodney Coles and Jeremy Romero. They were teammates together in the 2008-09 season. Since Brito was a starter and Coles and Romero reserves at the time, they didn't play a lot together on the court. Local fans are surprised and happy when they hear Brito will be playing for Northern, Cordova said.
"They can't believe it," Cordova said. "They look surprised and say, 'You got Brito.'"
Brito will be eligible to play right away because he is transferring from an NCAA Division II team (Highlands) to an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team (Northern). Brito plans on finishing his bachelor's degree at Northern, majoring in business management.
"(Northern) is where I wanted to go and I wasn't looking at anywhere else," Brito said. "I have some good memories here. I think we're making the right step to turn the program around."