Gumins elevate each other’s play

Mason and Drew Gumin are the pace setters for the Gilroy High boys basketball team. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Brothers Drew and Mason Gumin agree on many things, but there’s one thing they disagree on—who wins when they play NBA 2K.

“We’ve played hundreds of times, and I think Drew has beaten me two times the entire time,” Mason said.

“That’s not true—I kill him in the games,” Drew said.

The Gilroy High basketball players—Drew is a junior forward and Mason a freshman point guard—have played a key role in Gilroy’s season thus far. The Mustangs entered Wednesday’s game against Alvarez at 4-10 overall and 0-2 in the Monterey Bay League’s Pacific Division.

The four wins equal last year’s total, and the Gumin brothers are hoping for at least a couple of more victories in league play. Mason, a 5-foot-10, 150-pound junior, leads the team in scoring. Drew, a 5-6, 120-pound freshman, scored 23 points in his first-ever high school game in the season-opener against Live Oak on Dec. 1.

The Mustangs have also received solid play from Jaeru Are, Carlos Andrade, James Vegas, Trey Bursey, Owen Straub, Josh Filice-Hollar, Jay Dolmo, Zach Moulden and Brendan Doyle. The team’s only senior, Adam Thompson, is recovering from a knee injury he sustained in November.

Straub is the team’s leading rebounder, Are can play any position and has been terrific defensively while giving the team toughness, and Filice-Hollar has been an effective scorer and rebounder. The Gumin brothers are the team’s captains, and their energy rubs off on the squad in positive ways.

Before the season started, Mustangs coach Mike Suarez talked with Mason, encouraging him to evolve as a leader.

“We only had two varsity returners, and coach thought me being the vocal leader would help the team grow,” Mason said. “It’s something I’ve tried to work on a lot, things like setting an example on and off the court and keeping teammates accountable. I also try to encourage guys in their toughest moments.”

Mason pointed to the team’s 85-75 loss to Enterprise of Redding on Dec. 20 as the highlight of his season. Mason finished with 22 points, but in the previous game against San Jose he struggled mightily. After the San Jose game, Mason took time to analyze the game film and see what he could’ve done better.

“I was being hesitant, so against Enterprise, I had the mindset that if I had an open shot, I was going to take it,” Mason said.

Mason can drain shots from 3-point range, but he’s trying to develop a rock-solid mid-range game along with the ability to get to the basket off dribble penetration. Drew, meanwhile, has made a nice adjustment coming from middle school and earning a starting role—at point guard, no less—in his freshman season.

“It’s been a big jump because the tempo is faster and they put a lot more pressure on you when you’re dribbling,” Drew said. “But you have the same job of running the offense and getting the team set up as soon as possible.”

Drew scores most of his points from outside jump shots, and he credits the Gilroy High coaches along with Mason for helping him improve. Even though Drew and Mason get along, their 1-on-1 games are always competitive and physical.

“When we’re playing, he might give me a little elbow or bump, and I’ll give it right back,” Drew said.

“We’ve been playing basketball ever since we were babies,” Mason said. “We’ve always had that competitive edge, and it pushes us to get better and play hard against each other.”

Mason is ecstatic that he gets to play on the same team with Drew, as the two had never played on the same team until this season. On the court, the brothers share a cohesion that is hard to duplicate.

“We have a deeper connection than most players on other teams,” Mason said.

On a typical set play, Drew has the ball and looks to pass to an open player. Mason, who moves well without the ball, at times runs to the corner ends of the court, and Drew will often find him. Although the brothers are close, they don’t hang out at school. They have different groups of friends, which makes sense considering they’re two grade levels apart.

However, knowing the social dynamics at play, Drew said he’ll follow Mason around at school on occasion just to see if he could get a rise out of his older brother. Whether they’re joking with one another or being competitive on the court, Drew and Mason have developed a bond that will last far beyond the basketball court.

Leave your comments