La Mirada’s Julien Gomez has emerged as a top scorer in area


That’s the word used to describe 6-foot-3 La Mirada sophomore Julien Gomez, one of the top high school basketball scorers in Southern California with a 26.6 scoring average.

He takes it as a compliment because it means all the avenues he’s explored to make baskets are paying off.

“I’m glad people are calling me smart because me and my coach have been working on all my smarts, on my grip, on my shot,” he said. “It just feels good that people are finally seeing what I’ve done.”

Leave him open for a three-point try and it’s swish time. Guard him closely and he knows how to drive and score with both hands. Send him to the free-throw line and it’s time for a quick game again.

His recent games include 29 points against Downey and 26 points against Paramount. He had 30 points in an upset from Santa Ana Foothill.

Off the pitch he wears glasses and looks like Clark Kent. On the court, without glasses, he uses his basketball superpowers to cause chaos and defensive problems for his opponents.

“I think the three-ball opens my lane,” he said. “It’s easier to blow past people.”

His instincts, work ethic and versatility make him an exciting player to follow as he develops.

“I have to keep working on my athletics and getting my body ready for the next level,” he said. “I can be a better point guard in my vision and grip.”

He knows how to pull off a windmill dunk, so be careful not to underestimate his athleticism.

There are others this season who have stepped forward and snatched the spotlight after being somewhat anonymous.

  • Darnez Slater, Eastvale Roosevelt: The 6-3 junior came through on a 52-point performance against Corona Santiago on Thursday night and was one of the best players in the Big VIII League, which was dominated by two-time Open Division champions Corona Centennial. It averages 20.4 points.
  • AJ Robinson, Crenshaw: One of the City Section’s best players, Robinson led the Cougars to a 21-2 record. He had 37 points against Washington Prep. He’s a great senior point guard and leader.
  • Dylan Black, Manhattan Beach MiraCosta: Leave him open to a three-point try at your own risk. Mira Costa is 24-1 and Black’s consistent shooting is a big reason. He’s on his way to Carnegie Mellon.
  • Tim Anderson, Pasadena Blair: The 5-11 freshman is averaging 23.6 points and has propelled his team to second place in the Rio Hondo League.
  • Will Smith, Bishop Montgomery of Torrance: On a balanced scoring team, Smith always delivers in big games for 24-1 Bishop Montgomery. Disinterested and versatile, the 6-3 senior is quietly planning to have a role in the playoffs.
  • Tyrone Riley, Downey St. Pius X-St. Matthew: At 6-6, Riley has been a consistent offensive player for the 22-4 Warriors. The junior averages 24.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4.2 assists. La Mirada’s Julien Gomez has emerged as a top scorer in area

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