As competitive stakes rise, so does intensity of Escalante’s game

Mingus senior Issac Escalante scored 19 points in back to back games for the Marauders last week. (VVN/James Kelley)

Mingus senior Issac Escalante scored 19 points in back to back games for the Marauders last week. (VVN/James Kelley)

Mingus Union head coach Dave Beery joked that senior Issac Escalante is so competitive that once something is stake, his shooting percentage goes up by 60.

“He’s probably the most competitive kid I’ve coached,” Beery said. “I kinda joke that we can run a shooting drill in practice and he’ll shoot 20 percent but if I make it competitive, he shoots about 80 percent. He’s just wired that way.”

Escalante, who scored 19 points in both of the Marauders’ games last week, said it was an accurate assessment.

“I’ve always been competitive, I don’t like to lose I just like to win, that’s just me,” Escalante said. “Sometimes in practice I kinda slack off but when it comes to the actual games, I try my hardest.”

VVN: Have you had time to reflect on your senior season?

Escalante: Oh yeah, it was a good year, I mean I didn’t get to play the first half, but when I got back, me and my teammates really connected and we played good that last month.

VVN: How well do think you guys played? Do you think you played closer to your potential?

Escalante: Yeah, well we were kinda short handed the first half of the year but once we got all our players back, we started playing like how we should and some games we showed that we are really good.

VVN: What’s your favorite part about game day?

Escalante: Hmm, probably the bus rides with the team. We just joke around a lot and just have fun, like teenagers do.

VVN: What kinds of things do you do on the bus?

Escalante: Hmm, I don’t know, we just talk about what happened at school and the games and past games and stuff like that.

VVN: What’s your favorite part about playing basketball?

Escalante: Probably the competitiveness, I mean I like going against people and trying to win, I’m that kind of person, you know?

VVN: Do you have a favorite pro team?

Escalante: Yeah I like the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James (laughs).

VVN: Did you do any kind of weird celebration when they won it all?

Escalante: No, I was just pretty happy that they won.

VVN: So is LeBron your favorite player then?

Escalante: Yeah LeBron James.

VVN: Who has the best shoes in the NBA do you think?

Escalante: That’s a hard one, probably Kyrie Irving, I like his shoes.

VVN: How about for college, do you have a favorite college team?

Escalante: Not really, I’m just like a U of A fan, so whatever sports they have, I go for them usually.

VVN: Do you know what you’re going to do next year?

Escalante: Probably stick around here a little bit, attend Yavapai and after I get my prereqs done, maybe go to a university.

VVN: What’s your favorite class?

Escalante: Probably math, because I work pretty good with numbers.

VVN: What’s the toughest class you have then?

Escalante: My English class, it’s a dual enrollment class, with Yavapai College, it’s pretty hard.

VVN: Who’s your favorite teacher?

Escalante: Well I’ve got two, I’ve got Mr. (Klint) McKean, he’s my English teacher, he’s pretty cool and my math teacher, Ms. (Shannon) Anderson, she’s pretty cool also.

VVN: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Escalante: I don’t know, I see myself in Prescott somewhere, with a job and just going to school and working.

VVN: Do people misspell your name a lot?

Escalante: Yeah, all the time (laughs). Instead of two “ses” they put two “a’s.”

VVN: Do you get mad or are you kind of used to it?

Escalante: I’m just used to it, it’s happened my whole life (laughs)/

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