One of the all-time great stalwarts in Gilroy High boys basketball team history is set to play the final game of his prep career next week. Point guard Drew Gumin, a four-year varsity standout, put himself in elite company among Gilroy High standouts by going over the 1,000-point mark in a game against Seaside earlier this season.
This season has been unlike any other, especially for the Mustangs, who never got to practice on their home court due to the school serving as a Covid vaccination site. Instead, Gilroy was relegated to practicing at Gilroy Prep School three times a week, starting at 8:30pm no less.
“The court is so small and slippery,” Gumin said. “Even though it’s a crappy gym, we’re still making the best of what we’ve got.”
That’s been the theme of the Mustangs’ season, as the 2021 campaign has served as a complete rebuilding/development year since only a handful of players who saw playing time last season returned. Gilroy also underwent a coaching change, as Mike Suarez departed and junior varsity coach Joe Te stepped in to take the reins.
“Going into the season, I didn’t know what to expect,” Gumin said. “We graduated a lot of seniors and there were a lot of unknowns, so I just focused on working on the things I could control.”
Gumin said he made it a point of emphasis to lead by example and show the inexperienced underclassmen what it takes to continually improve.
“I wanted to help them so they’ll excel when I’m gone,” he said.
Speaking of help, that’s exactly what Gumin has received from his dad, Glenn, who was a former student coach for the Purdue College women’s basketball team. From the first time Drew started playing organized games, Glenn would sit him down afterward and assess his play.
“He’s always given me tips and pointers for as long as I could remember,” Drew said. “He’s taken my stats and written down my weak points and strong points, but mostly weak points to improve on.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Gumin worked hard in the off-season to pack on weight to his once thin frame, which will prepare him for the physical rigors of basketball at the college level. Gumin said he’s optimistic about his chances of landing at a Division II or III program, but his next hoops destination is still up in the air.
For now, he’s focusing on finishing the season strong and enjoying the final moments of his high school career. It’s been a tough season for the Mustangs from a win-loss standpoint. They recorded their lone victory against Pacific Point Christian on May 5, with Gumin scoring a season-high 25 points in just three quarters of action.
“It felt really good to get that first win,” said Gumin, who had a career-high 33 points in a game against Soledad in his sophomore year. “I feel it gave our team a lot of confidence showing we can win.”
Gumin has been the focus of opposing team’s defenses since he was a freshman, so he’s used to dealing with the relentless double teams that come his way all game.
“I’ve got to find my groove and figure out spots on the court and what is working and what is not working,” he said. “My dad is telling me to stay locked in this season because it’s been a tough year and it would be easy to lose focus when we fall behind. He’s also helping me watch my turnovers and other parts of the game as well.”
Even in the worst of the Covid situation, Gumin was practicing outdoors and working out, making sure he would be ready if the season ever got underway. He credits Suarez for speeding up his development and giving him a big task in his freshman season.
“He put me in a position and trusted me to handle pressure,” Gumin said. “Having that responsibility at such a young age helped me grow into the player that I am today.”