Learning the job, day and night

Glendale Community College's Nikolas Rhodes filling multiple roles nicely in first collegiate season

February 09, 2011|By Charles Rich,
  • Nikolas Rhodes of the Glendale Community College men's basketball team.
Nikolas Rhodes of the Glendale Community College men's… (Tim Berger, Glendale…)

Nikolas Rhodes considers himself a night owl. He doesn't plan on that changing.

In the middle of the night in the heart of the San Fernando Valley for the past year, Rhodes has often visited a 24-hour gym in Northridge. Instead of lifting weights or running, Rhodes will trek to the basketball court in the hopes of perfecting his skills.

Rhodes, a freshman point guard on the Glendale Community College men's basketball team, said he will take up to 800 shots before retreating home to rest.

No matter the hour, it's about Rhodes spending his time wisely. The results have shown while patrolling the court for the Vaqueros.

"If I miss the shots while practicing, then it motivates me even more," said Rhodes, a Cleveland High graduate. "It's helped me a lot with my drive and focus."


Rhodes said he came to Glendale college seeking an opportunity to play. Starting wasn't something Rhodes necessarily entertained.

Following a few practice sessions in the late summer, Rhodes convinced veteran Glendale college Coach Brian Beauchemin that he could handle the workload.

"He came to one of our workouts and I said to myself that he's got some potential," said Beauchemin, who took over the program in 1979. "I could see him running the floor and snapping passes that a lot of players can't do off the dribble.

"You could see him improving and he sees the floor very well. In a pressure-dominated conference, he seems to handle it well for a freshman.

"In our conference, almost every game can be tight. Because of that, you want to have a good ball handler. He's done a remarkable job getting the ball to open people at the right time and made us better."

Rhodes hasn't shown any signs of backing down against the traditional powers that the conference has to showcase. Entering Wednesday's game against host Citrus College, he was averaging 10.2 points, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

Since Western State Conference competition began Jan. 5, Rhodes has been named the conference's player of the week twice. He's also played a factor in helping keep the Vaqueros in contention for a Southern Division title with the likes of Citrus College, College of the Canyons and Santa Monica City College.

The stakes are normally high playing in the division, which challenges Rhodes to elevate his game with crisp shooting and passing for a Vaquero squad that's 16-9, 5-4 in the division through Wednesday.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles