Sacramento's Avenant still good friends with former Del Oro teammates

Injured Dragons starter a former Golden Eagles JV force
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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SACRAMENTO — Chris Avenant didn’t take the floor for Sacramento High Friday night at Arco Arena. Clad in a dress shirt and slacks, he watched from the bench as the Dragons routed Del Oro 71-44 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship, his broken left wrist wrapped in tape. Avenant looked on as Sacramento outshot, outrebounded and outhustled his friends and former teammates from Del Oro, where he played freshman and junior varsity basketball. “I know all five starters,” Avenant said. “I know a lot of the players and I’m still good friends with a lot of the players there.” The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Avenant was one of three Sacramento starters who didn’t play Friday. He averaged 8.3 points this season and was one of the Dragons’ top rebounders before breaking his wrist last Saturday. He said friendships go on hold in games with so much at stake. “I really don’t care who we play or if I play or not, as long as we win the section,” Avenant said. “I care more about the team than I do about myself. I mean, being injured does suck and I feel guilty that I’m not out there contributing, but life happens and you have to move on.” The South Africa native and former soccer standout was new to basketball when he averaged more than 15 points per game as MVP of Del Oro’s JV squad two years ago before moving to Sacramento. He started for the Dragons last year in his first varsity season and was nominated as a McDonald’s All-American in January. Avenant plans to play at Division I Northeastern in Boston next winter. “I proved a lot this year,” he said. “I proved everything that I could have.”