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Veteto returning to his roots

Sierra Scoop
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Konner Veteto’s basketball career blossomed in southern California, but he’s returning to his roots. The Placer High graduate is transferring to Sacramento State after playing two seasons at UC Riverside. “I’m really excited to be coming back close to home,” Veteto said Saturday. Veteto, a 6-9, 240-pound forward, starred for two seasons at Placer before graduating in 2007. He spent one year at Summit Prep School naer Los Angeles before landing a scholarship to UC Riverside. Veteto was starting for the Highlanders early last season, but his playing time took a significant dip when the Big West Conference schedule began. The big man said he didn’t get a good explanation for his lack of time on the court. “I never got a good answer for why I wasn’t playing,” he said. “When I was starting I was playing well. I was one of the team leaders in scoring and rebounding.” He played in 51 games over two years at UC Riverside and started 12 times. He averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounder per game and shot over 50 percent from the field. Veteto had a couple of impressive performances against big-time opponents last season. He grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds at the University of New Mexico’s vaunted arena — The Pit. He had 14 points and eight boards in the Highlanders’ loss at USC. UC Riverside’s loss is Sacramento State’s gain. Coach Brian Katz is excited to add Veteto, who should eventually give the Hornets a major boost in the post. Veteto won’t be eligible to play until the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer rules. “We’re getting a player in Konner who has two years of Div. I experience, and has had some success at this level,” Katz said in a statement released Friday. “He is a big and physical player who has a chance to be very good. He is a force on the glass, and can really rebound the basketball. We’ll develop him this year, and get two solid years of play (in 2011-12 and 2012-13).” After getting a good feel for Division I basketball, Veteto admitted it will be tough to sit and watch next season. But he can practice with the team and he plans on spending plenty of time in the weight room, where he’s made major strides since his days as a Hillman. “I’m going to get a lot better,” said Veteto, who is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Sociology. “I’m actually kind of excited to redshirt. I have an extra year for academics and I can spend a lot of time in the weight room.” Veteto said he also plans on making the journey up I-80 to Auburn often to see his family, including his little brother Wyatt Hinson, who will be a freshman at Placer next year. Veteto has always been close with his family, which includes sister Karly Sipherd, who was an all-conference volleyball player at Nevada. Todd Mordhorst’s column runs Sundays in the Journal. Comment online at www.auburnjournal.com.