Players to watch: Bianca Cuevas, Nazareth
It seems the brighter the spotlight, the more Bianca Cuevas shines.
Some of the Nazareth guard’s best performances last year came in the Lady Kingsmen’s most high profile encounters.
The lightning-quick rising junior, who can score by driving to the basket or pulling up from 3-point range, scored 19 points in the CHSAA Class AA final against Moore Catholic and another 19 in a win against Manasquan, MSG Varsity’s top-ranked team in the tri-state.
Perhaps her most satisfying outing came against rival Christ the King and its star sophomore Sierra Calhoun. Cuevas exploded for a game-high 36 points in a lopsided win in Middle Village.
“She’s the number one guard in her class in the state and, easily in the country, I’d say top five,” Nazareth co-coach Lauren Best said after that game. “She made a statement today about being the top sophomore.”
Cuevas, who was named to MSG Varsity’s all-city first team last winter, will be the face of Nazareth this year with Brianna Butler graduated and attending Syracuse, Darius Faulk now at West Virginia and Sadie Edwards transferring to Blair Academy in New Jersey.
That shouldn’t be a problem for The Bronx native, though, who has taken her game to another level on the AAU circuit this summer. She knocked down seven 3-pointers en route to a 51-point outburst in one AAU contest. Not surprisingly, the 5-foot-6 Cuevas has drawn interest from a bevy of Division I programs, including Kentucky, Syracuse, Miami, South Florida, Florida State and Nebraska.
Is Cuevas the city’s best girls basketball player in the Class of 2014? That’s up to debate. But what is certain is that she’s among the top 30 athletes in New York City for the upcoming season.
Visit MSGVarsity.com each weekday this summer as we unveil the next athlete on our Players to watch list. Click here for the complete list.