talent and all-state honoree Evan Burns in a spring league basketball
game against Fairfax prior to his senior year, the 18-year-old lived
for making the big play.
Or whether it was setting a school record with four dunks in a
tournament game against L.A. Marshall in December, the 6-foot-6
talent added a number of memorable clips to his personal highlight
And even after the basketball season ended in February, Gaudino's
highlight reel continued throughout the spring season.
Whether it was pounding a quick-set from the floor to the ceiling
in the La Canada gym, making a huge solo block or single-handedly
keeping a young and inexperienced Spartan boys' volleyball team
competitive, the spotlight rarely shined away from the USC-bound
And despite his selection to the Rio Hondo League's first-team
roster after earning co-most valuable player honors in 2001, when
Gaudino was on top of his game, there was nobody better.
Which is why the writers and editors of the News-Press and Burbank
Leader had little difficulty in recognizing Gaudino as the 2002
News-Press All-Area Boys' Volleyball Player of the Year.
"You always want to win, but I'm just happy that I didn't totally
blow up at anybody," said Gaudino, who earned All-Area first-team
honors in 2001.
"I just learned that you have to find fun in different ways. I
could've taken private lessons instead of playing this season, but I
liked the team aspect because of the personalities that were out
"They didn't have that much height and they possessed some
athletic ability, but they were some of the funniest guys I've ever
At certain points during the season, Gaudino's experience was
anything but comical as the Spartans struggled to a 4-12 record,
including 0-8 in league.
But with first-year Coach Dan Nicolas stepping in to replace the
departed Kevin Boyke -- who mentored Gaudino during his sophomore and
junior seasons -- in addition to a number of quality players being
lost to graduation, a rebuilding year was to be expected.
"I had to refrain from shouting my brains out a lot of times,"
"I know I do a lot of things wrong, but what frustrated me was