Player Spotlight: Wagner G Kenneth Ortiz
Kenneth Ortiz is a senior guard originally from Newark, NJ. He attended Southern Miss his freshman year, but then transferred after only one season to become a Seahawk.
Once at Wagner, he got on the court right away and played all 31 games during his sophomore campaign. Ortiz was able to put up respectable numbers from the field, shooting an average of 35.8% per game, and hitting about 65% of his free throw attempts. What really stood out from Ortiz’s play was his defense. He earned Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, by averaging 1.8 steals a game.
His junior year came and went with sound defensive statistics and another NEC Defensive Player of the Year title to add to his collection; this time having 2.0 steals per game. He also shot a career high of 42.7% from the field, while making just above 30% from beyond the arc. He logged over an incredible 1,000 minutes and proved his durability by again performing in all 31 games.
Highlights in Ortiz’s career include a sensational game-winning, buzzer-beater that caused the demise of Santa Clara and gave Wagner the win and the Cable Car Title. The video has over 1.3 million views on YouTube and was nominated for Geico’s 2012 Play of the Year. He was also named the Most Inspirational Player of the 45th Cable Car Championship, after averaging 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists throughout the tournament. In Wagner’s memorable win against #15 Pitt, he led all scorers going into the half with 10 on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
Wagner is led by head coach Bashir Mason, who is remarkably the youngest head coach of NCAA Division I College basketball. The Seahawks have four returning starters and are projected to win the NEC. Penn State hosts Wagner Saturday November 9 at 4 p.m.
Nicholas Diecidue is a sophomore majoring in Energy Business and Finance. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.