Albert Zhang ‘18 has been named WHS Boy’s Athlete of the Month for January because of his stellar performance on the basketball court. During the month, Westlake Varsity had an 8-5 record and improved consistently throughout the year.
Averaging 9.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks, Zhang has been a force in the paint, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots all over the court.
“He’s a great rim protector, he can block shots without fouling or change shots without fouling. A lot of people see the blocks, [but] his presence alone can change the way opponents shoot” said second-year coach, Kyle Kegley.
Zhang, a senior, has been in the program for four years and has consistently improved each year. After making varsity last year, His respect from his teammates and his command of the floor has grown.
“He’s very vocal,” said Bryce Howard ‘19. ”He lets us know where to go, and gets us going before the game.”
Finishing with an 18-9 record on the season and 6-4 in Marmonte, Zhang has been the anchor of a team hoping to make a deep run in CIF playoffs this season.
“He’s stepped up his leadership and commitment this year,” said Kegley. “It’s really shown up in his performances.”
Standing at 6’9” and playing center, Zhang’s role primarily consists of playing aggressive defense, grabbing rebounds and using his height and athleticism to make hustle plays around the court. Paired with fellow seniors Deon Francis ‘18 and Justin Surmani ‘18, the Warriors hope to use their chemistry to cause some upsets in the playoffs.
“Guys feel scared to go in the paint against him,” said Howard. “He’s there to clean it up, so our team always has a sense of security. If we play at our top level, we’ll be hard to beat.”