It is a happy accident that our spotlight player this week is from the California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) a week after releasing the Cal Pac League Breakdown. In that feature, Henry Galinato, a first team all league performer, is one of the top players returning to the Cal Pac Conference next season. Like many of our spotlight players, Henry had an unique journey to NAIA.
You see, out of high school, Henry wasn’t a highly recruited athlete. He was a good basketball player, and a good track athlete, but didn’t get a ton of interest to be a college student-athlete. Henry ended up taking a junior college offer to play basketball at Bakersfield College. Henry made the best of his situation both on the floor and off. He was named to the Academic Dean’s List, and Honorable Mention All Conference. His journey taught him the value of hard work, because he has had to earn everything along the way thus far. It made him a better student, and allowed him to grow as a basketball player. It ultimately prepared him to be the person he is today, and led him to a basketball scholarship at Benedictine University Mesa (AZ).
For Henry, BenU Mesa was his best fit out of junior college, because being from California, the chance to play in front of his friends and family in the Cal Pac was exciting. He loves the atmosphere on campus, because most of the student population consists of student-athletes. He felt that the basketball program provided a really tight nit, family like atmosphere. The coaches and players help to create that family culture within the program, and it is something he loves being a part of.
He loves playing for Coach Schafer, Coach Woodford, and the rest of the staff at BenU Mesa. Henry said that Coach Schafer, and Coach Woodford are excellent coaches and great role models. They put an emphasis on family, and care about the players off the floor, as much as they do about winning games. Henry says they have a lot of fun together both on and off the floor. He had a really successful first season as a Redhawk as he averaged 10.4 points, and 6 rebounds per game on his way to being on the Cal Pac 1st team All-Conference Team.
After playing his first season as a junior in the Cal Pac, Henry is ready to get back after it for his senior season. He respects the competitiveness of the league and says there are no easy games in the Cal Pac, and if you don’t bring it every night, you set yourself up to lose that night. Henry enjoys the fact that the league is spread out, and you get to travel a bunch. He is looking forward to getting the new guys on campus, and seeing how they all come together. He is also looking forward to being a leader to the youngsters who will be entering the program. Henry has his eyes set on big things both personally and as a team in his last season. He is already putting in the work to be the first Men’s Basketball All-American in BenU Mesa history. More so though, he wants to compete for a Cal Pac Conference championship, and a trip to the NAIA DII National Tournament. With Henry paving the way, the BenU Mesa Men’s Basketball team is primed for a big 2019-20 season.