Colleges continue courting Atascadero’s Berwick

Schools from ACC, Big East, Pac-12 among those after Greyhounds star

nwilson@thetribunenews.comJuly 16, 2013 

Atascadero High’s Robbie Berwick, seen here in March, is honing his skills at AAU tournaments this summer to improve his game for college recruiters around the country.

LAURA DICKINSON — ldickinson@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

It’s no secret that Atascadero High basketball point guard Robbie Berwick is attracting plenty of interest from colleges nationwide.  

Among the latest to offer him a scholarship are UC Davis, UTEP, UC Irvine and Fresno State. 

Berwick, who begins his senior year this season, says he’s taking his time with his decision while playing summer AAU ball, currently as a member of the O.C. Pride team based in Orange County. 

By the end of this month, after he plays in a tournament in Las Vegas, Berwick could have more scholarship offers coming his way. 

“There will be coaches from all over the country watching us play in Vegas,” Berwick said. “By that time, I’ll know who all has recruited me and the choices I’ll have.” 

Berwick already has been offered scholarships from colleges such as Florida State, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and Portland. 

He has received recruiting interest as well from some of the nation’s top-tier basketball programs, including Gonzaga, St. John’s, San Diego State, Stanford, Loyola Marymount, Boston College and Boise State. 

Berwick said that he’s in no rush to commit. 

The 6-foot-4 point guard said that in choosing a school “you have to follow your heart.” He thinks his ultimate selection will fall into place as he continues to go through the recruiting process and learn more about each program that has courted him. 

“I believe I can play anywhere,” Berwick said. “I’m confident I could walk into a big-time school and contribute. I also think a school like UCSB would be really beneficial where I know the coaches really well. I’d be in my comfort zone. I just have to think it out and be patient.”

In the meantime, a mid-summer switch of AAU teams has proven fruitful as Berwick scored 26 points in a recent Los Angeles tournament and has shined playing a team brand of basketball with the O.C. Pride. 

Berwick had been playing on the Los Angeles-based Pangos Elite team. But he switched to the O.C. Pride, which he said offers a squad with better teamwork and camaraderie. 

While facilitating the Atascadero High offense as a junior, Berwick averaged 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game. 

His attack with the Greyhounds often started with his penetration past his initial defender to get into the paint for a shot or a kick-out pass to sharpshooters Jared Stuedemann and Joe Johnson, both of whom return as seniors with him this year. 

Berwick also has the ability to get to the basket and score as he reads defenses. He said he’s preparing for the challenge of taking his game to the college level.

“This summer, I’ve worked on trying to get better at attacking the hole, finishing over bigger defenders, and playing ‘D’ against really good athletes with good first steps,” Berwick said. “I’m also probably shooting over 800 shots per day and focusing on all aspects of scoring — back to the basket, 3-point shooting, 15-footers.”  

An interesting matchup next year could be the showdown between Atascadero and Righetti, the teams that tied for the PAC 7 title last season. 

Righetti returns 6-7 junior Cameron Walker, who also is attracting significant college attention. 

Programs including Florida, Cal and USC reportedly have offered Walker scholarships. Walker will be a junior.

Berwick got the best of a one-on-one matchup at the end of a close contest in Atascadero last season, using a screen to break free from Walker and then draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win the game. 

Berwick called the basket one of the best feelings of his life, but emphasized all the hard work he puts in led up to that moment.

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