Just four years ago Eric Waterford from Modesto Christian was named the most valuable basketball player of the Trans Valley League and named to the all-tournament team of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic.
This event featured 16 of the top programs from the state of California. Eric also participated in the Six Counties All-Star Game.
“I’ll never forget my high school days” Waterford reminisced, “playing basketball at home for coach Gary Porter at Modesto Christian was a lot of fun”.
Waterford was given a full athletic scholarship to the University of Portland as a student athlete to play basketball. “The Pacific Northwest is beautiful. However, there’s no place like sunny California”.
Phil Waterford, Eric’s dad, stated, “I am very grateful for the opportunities that Eric has been given as a student athlete at the University of Portland.”
Eric will graduate as one of the two winningest players in the school’s history. In addition to coming off of back-to-back 20-win seasons, he has been able to participate in Postseason play for three consecutive seasons. Amazing!
“I remind my kids all the time that for good choices there are rewards, for bad choices there are consequences and there is no substitute for hard work,” said Phil Waterford
The Portland Pilots have played one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in Division 1 basketball in the nation. At the beginning of this season, the Modesto native battled calf and ankle injuries that left him unable to play for a number of games. However, through his hard work and dedication in practice, Waterford had a great performance off the bench against San Diego and established a career-high with four steals all in the second half. Waterford also made both of his shot attempts to finish with four points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out an assist with zero turnovers.
Coach Eric Reveno of the Portland Pilots decided to reward Eric with his first opportunity of the season to start against San Francisco. Unfortunately, Eric experienced a knee injury and was forced to exit the game after just a few minutes. Waterford has battled injuries as a senior, but has appeared in 79 career games with 25 starts. He returned to the lineup on Senior Night against St. Mary’s after missing the previous eight games with a knee injury that required surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
“I don’t care what Eric does after he graduates, but my prayer is that he will continue to love the Lord, make good choices and become self-sufficient,” said Phil Waterford
In May, Eric Waterford will graduate with a degree from the University of Portland in Communications and Marketing. He also has plans to continue playing basketball professionally, perhaps overseas. All nine of the University of Portland graduates who have played basketball in the last two years have gone on to play pro ball.