Published: February 10, 2014
At Doherty, the name Velasquez is synonymous with basketball success. Tynan Velasquez is trying his best to keep up the family name, while also forging his own legacy as a Spartan.
Velasquez had the best game of his high school career when he posted 32 points in a 5A Colorado Springs Metro League win over Pine Creek last week. He also put up 15 in a win over Liberty. Consistent scoring is a sight Doherty basketball fans are used to seeing.
Velasquez's older brothers Bryse and Tyler starred at Doherty before going on to play college basketball. It's been four years since a Velasquez ran the point for the Spartans, and the Spartans are happy another member of the family came through the pipeline.
"Tynan puts in a lot of time working on his game in the offseason, and he comes from a basketball family full of good players and great basketball IQ," Doherty coach James Lane said. "He doesn't play like a sophomore - and isn't one on the court - and we have confidence in him when he has the ball."
Velasquez is averaging 14 points, 3.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. His previous highest-scoring performance was 20 in a loss to Valor Christian earlier this season.
"I still feel like I can play better; I've still been missing shots I should make and I want to play better and hope my teammates can keep trusting me," Velasquez said. "Growing up, watching my brothers, I learned a lot about having confidence with the ball and getting shots for myself and my teammates."
Lane, who was an assistant on the Doherty staff when both Bryse and Tyler played, says the similarities between the three are noticeable.
"Bryse was one of the best scorers I've ever seen, and Tyler was one of the best passers," Lane said. "Tynan is learning how to take the strengths from both of them and put it into his game, but he's also trying to be himself and bring other parts to his game."
One calling card of the Velasquez family is superior 3-point shooting, and it's no different with the current Doherty point guard. Velasquez was 6 for 11 from long range against Pine Creek.
The three brothers still talk daily, and the conversation often goes in the direction of which of the three is the best basketball player.
"My brothers both think they're the best, and I think I'm better than them both," Velasquez said. "There's a lot of pressure on me because my brothers were good players and did a lot for the program. I'm trying to make a name for myself and make a bigger name for our family."
Doherty has had a roller-coaster season, but is on its first three-game winning streak - all league wins. The Spartans are 12-7, tied with Fountain-Fort Carson at 5-1 in the conference.
"We've talked all year about peaking at the right time and I think we're playing well, but could play better," Lane said. "We're learning how to play together, and this team has jelled in a short amount of time."
Velasquez is hoping to carry the Spartans deep into the 5A state tournament, like his brothers did in 2008 and 2009.
"I feel that we have the best talent in the city, and I think we can play with anybody in Denver, as well," he said. "We're starting to get better as a team and trust each other more."