By Juan Reyes
Staff Writer, Santa Cruz Sentinel
There are plenty of basketball players who can shoot the ball but only a select few who can call themselves a true shooter.
Aptos High alum Nick Grieves is one of those players.
The Cal State East Bay junior is only in his first year with the team, but he has made solid contributions throughout the season, especially from behind the 3-point line. Grieves is converting an amazing 56 percent (23 of 41) of his shots from behind the arc.
"I've always considered myself a shooter," Grieves said. "I like the 3, but I can score in other ways, not just behind the 3-point line. And it's being an all-around basketball player that's moving the ball, playing defense or rebounding."
The former Mariner standout scored 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point range to go along with two assists in a 75-61 win over Menlo College on Monday.
"It's part of our offense and it's a little bit of instinct, too," Grieves said of the high number of shot attempts from 3-point range. "If I see an open look, I'm going to be aggressive and shoot."
Grieves spent his first two years at San Jose State but made his way onto the Pioneers basketball team last offseason.
He spent most of that time in the gym and said he managed to put on roughly 10 to 12 pounds of muscle.
"If you're stronger, you really don't get pushed around as much," Grieves said. "We're in a really physical conference, so coach just wanted me to get prepared for the physicality and made sure that I wasn't going to get banged up."
Now he's making 53 percent of his shots on 31 of 59 attempts and is averaging 10.6 points along with 3.8 rebounds per game. Grieves also has five assists and eight steals off the bench this season.
"It's just staying ready," he said. "I know my role on the team and that's to play defense and rebound. My points are going to come and I'm not worried about scoring. It's just playing as hard as I can whenever I get on the floor."
Another major contribution to the team: his positive attitude coming off the bench. Grieves said it doesn't bother him at all not to have his name on the starting lineup.
"If that's what coach has in mind for me then I trust his judgment and I'm just going to go along with that," Grieves said.