Call him Dr. Deonte
LANCASTER – Deonte Huff’s expertise in sports medicine has him seriously contemplating it as a career. The former Lancaster High star just wishes he could have found an easier way to learn about the subject. Huff, a standout sophomore guard on the Antelope Valley College men’s basketball team, has worn a brace on his knee or wrist nearly his entire collegiate career. Huff played a with bulky knee brace most of last season after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in a late December tournament game at College of the Canyons. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card He’s been wearing a brace since returning from a broken wrist he suffered nearly a year after an MCL injury, also at the Canyons tournament. “It kind of put the thought in my mind that I’m actually learning without even taking classes,” Huff said. “I’m picking up all this stuff, and I thought maybe I can use my experience to help other people out. It didn’t make my decision, but it kind of helped.” He has put up huge numbers despite the injuries, and although AVC (11-14 overall, 4-4 Foothill Conference) is in the midst of a disappointing season, Huff is considered among the state’s top community college prospects. Huff, the only returning player with significant varsity experience, leads the team in scoring (22.6 points per game) and rebounding (7.3 per game). He has had several big games since the wrist injury. He scored 43 points in just his second game back, a 95-85 Foothill Conference loss to Chaffey of Rancho Cucamonga. On Saturday, he scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 91-79 conference victory over Victor Valley of Victorville. Huff returned to the Marauders just two weeks after suffering the injury. “He brought something special to the team when he came back,” said sophomore guard Brandon McQueen, Huff’s cousin, who transferred to AVC at Huff’s prodding after a year at Canyons. Huff is being recruited by virtually every team in the Big West Conference. Oregon has expressed interest, too. His calling card is the “instant offense” he’d bring a Div. I program, longtime AVC coach Newton Chelette said. “He’s the best open-court player in the state,” Chelette said. In the time he has played at AVC, Huff has evolved from a player who relied almost exclusively on his natural ability as a savvy scorer with exceptional instincts. His athleticism has helped him emerge as a top defender, too, Chelette said. “When he was in high school, he really didn’t have to make decisions,” Chelette said. “He just jumped over everybody or he outquicked them.” Huff has also developed into a team-oriented player who makes the players around him better. Huff says his AVC experience confirmed something his parents have told him since he started playing youth ball: “Take advantage of basketball, don’t let basketball take advantage of you.” “It’s made me a stronger person, and part of that is being smarter,” Huff said. “There will be a time where you have to rely more on your mental game than your physical (ability), because sometimes you’re not going to have all the ability. Even now I don’t have all the ability that I used to have or I want to have.” Gideon Rubin, (818)713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!