Mr. Underrated: Joaquim Arauzmoore (Gonzaga)
With the evolution of basketball in the past ten years, the game has literally grown to new heights with taller players having guard-like skills. The growth of the game has forced college coaches to recruit taller and more athletic players, especially at the Division 1 level. However, there is still a small percentage of players without the height and pro level athleticism, that find their way to the higher levels. Rampage Alum Joaquim Arauzmoore is definitely a part of that small percentage. Arauzmoore who is currently a freshman at Gonzaga, only stands at about 6’1’ and doesn’t have the crazy athleticism that most guards at his level has. His high basketball IQ and elite skillset has allowed him to reach a level that most players dream of.
Arauzmoore attended Branson High School (Ross, CA) and graduated in 2022, before doing a postgrad year at SoCal Academy. Coming out of high school, Arauzmoore wasn’t heavily recruited despite how well him and his team played.
“Had a couple jucos and D3s and D2s that reached out to me. After my time with rampage I got in contact with more coaches including scholarship offers and was able to create good film against good competition”.
Back in the spring I can remember both Will Heimbrodt (Seattle U) and Salim Arikat (Menlo College) who were teammates of Arauzmoore at SC Academy, telling me about this point guard who was interested in playing in the spring for us. All 3 showed up to a training session in Novato, CA, and the rest was history. Rampage Director Antonio Hodges and I both agreed that not only was he good enough to play on our top 17u team, but he would make our team one of the best independent teams on the west coast. He would play with Christian Wise (San Jose State), Antonio Pusateri (SF City College), and a few current high school seniors such as Joshua Devore (Cal Lutheran Commit), Larry Lewis, Nick Cubley and more. During the spring with Arauzmoore we only lost two games, one was by 6, the other was at the buzzer after he hit the shot to put us up 1. We finished both spring live periods 6-2 through 8 games.
“My experience was unique and special. Felt like rampage gave me an opportunity that circuits might not have. The competition we played was tough and high level. Super thankful for my experience”.
After receiving a lot of interest including an offer from Cal Maritime (NAIA), Arauzmoore was preparing himself to go the junior college route at Santa Rosa. This would change quickly however, as Gonzaga got in touch with him and was able to bring him in. The move to Gonzaga was special because for him the hard work he put in over the years had finally paid off, and he didn’t have to be super tall or athletic to gain interest from this level. It was also big for the program because it showed the younger kids coming up that being fundamentally sound while playing hard, can allow you to pass players that may have more natural abilities but don’t always play hard.
Gonzaga is currently ranked number 15 in the country, and are continuing their quest for a national championship. The experience that Arauzmoore has been able to get as a freshman just being in the environment, has been a joy to see. Arauzmoore talked about his experience so far, and how competitive the practices are at Gonzaga.
“It’s been so special. Each day going against some of best players in country and learning so much day in and day out. My game has grown so much and my experience is close to a movie. I’ve been excited everyday about heading in to practice because I just know I’m gonna get better”.
“Theres competition in everything. Every player is trying to win each play, lift and shooting drill and in result it just makes us all stronger and a better team”.
From barely getting any looks his senior year at Branson, to competing for a top 15 team in the country that will have a chance to win a national championship, Arauzmoore has had quite the journey. The goal for him is to keep getting better, and learn as much as he can from this historic basketball program. We are all proud of his success!