Boys Basketball: St. Ignatius’ Domingo selected to U16 national team

St. Ignatius sophomore forward Stephen Domingo rises up for a jump shot against Riordan in the CCS playoffs on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

St. Ignatius sophomore forward Stephen Domingo rises up for a jump shot against Riordan in the CCS playoffs on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

While mounds of seniors are seeing their high school athletic careers end as the waning days of the winter season come to a close, this week fans got a glimpse of just how bright one underclassman’s future might be.

The glimpse came in the form of a phone call to St. Ignatius sophomore Stephen Domingo, a call he’s been eagerly awaiting for more than four months, to tell him he will represent the United States on the under-16 team that will play in the he will be on the under-16 national team, with a chance to play in the World Championships from June 21-25 in León, Mexico.

St. Ignatius sophomore Stephen Domingo directs the Wildcats offense against Riordan on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“I’ve been waiting for the call since October, when I went for the first tryout,” Domingo said. “I don’t know if it’s hit me yet. Not many people get the opportunity to play for the USA. It’s once in a lifetime.”

Domingo and 11 25 others were selected from a pool of the best players under 16 years old in the country, including West Catholic Athletic League rival and Player of the Year Aaron Gordon from Archbishop Mitty High School. Domingo averaged just over 10 points per game and nearly five rebounds in WCAL play this year, earning him a second-team all-league selection.

Still with two years of high school basketball to play, St. Ignatius head coach John DeBenedetti is more than happy knowing the 6-foot-7 forward will be a force for years to come.

“I’m just really excited for him. It’s a huge opportunity for him and a great honor,” DeBenedetti said. “It’s exciting on so many levels, for the school, for the basketball program. It’s just a wonderful thing.”

For Domingo, the selection fulfills a dream and a goal that he’s held for some time.

“You watch the NBA players, the Redeem Team, the Dream Team and you think, ‘Man, I wish I could do that,’ and when you finally get the chance to, it’s a mix of how much hard work has paid off and how much I don’t want to mess this up,” Domingo said. “Not many people get an opportunity like this.”

The added pressure is something Domingo and DeBenedetti both brought up, but being such an impact player at such an early age, the crosshairs of opposing players and teams have been on the sophomore for a while already.

“It puts a bit of a bull’s eye on him, but he’s used to that,” DeBenedetti said. “He’s been recognized as one of the top players in his class. That’s a little added pressure for him, but he’s a mature player and he knows how to deal with it.”

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10 Comments on "Boys Basketball: St. Ignatius’ Domingo selected to U16 national team"

  1. Anonymous | March 3, 2011 at 7:18 AM |

    Aaron Gordon will have a greater impact on the team considering he is more physical whereas Mr.
    Domingo prefers to stay at the perimeter shooting 3s and rarely or never goes inside.

  2. Basketball Fan | March 3, 2011 at 8:06 AM |

    Wow, what an honor. Good luck young man!

  3. Let me get this, 10 points a game,5 rebounds,..they lost..and he’s that good.
    He must be Thousands of Dollars,going to a lot of LA basketball camps and putting his name out there.his game is not there.Sorry

  4. kudos to Domingo & Gordon. Very impressive.
    Good luck

  5. Congratulations on the great honor.

  6. Great honor, BUUUUUT there seriously isn’t a better player in his class out there? He probably isn’t top 10 sophomore in NORCAL!

  7. Nate Ford | March 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM |

    Having coached Steve since he was 10 years old, He is very deserving of this. He has worked his butt off to get to this point. While most kids are at proms, Steve is looking for a gym to improve his game. There might be someone out there that is better, but when you put yourself in good situatuions, good things tends to pay off!!! Even though he has move on from our program, I will always consider Steve a Rebel. Good Luck to Steve and Aaron.

  8. Congrats to Aaron and Steve! Keep up the hard work!

  9. Roll Cats | March 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM |

    Great work Stephen! You have really worked on your skills this season and you made such an impact on the court for the Cats. It’s great to read about kids like you who work hard and achieve their goals. I wis you all the best with the national team, and hopefully you can bring back some new skills that will help the Cats along the way next year

  10. Good Luck young man! This is a great honor!

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