Analy center to play at Sonoma State

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Nathan Molony-Benjamin, a big reason for Analy’s recent basketball success, will play at Sonoma State.
One of three high school seniors signing National Letters of Intent to join the Seawolves, the Analy center could gain playing time his first season.

“We are extremely excited about Nathan because he is the first 6-foot-8 freshman that might be ready to play as soon as he gets here,” said Sonoma State coach Pat Fuscaldo. “He’s an incredible shot blocker, he can score, he is athletic, he has a nice go-to move in the post, he’s young and if he comes in and develops, we might see him (on the court) sooner rather than later.”

Already working to improve his shooting and footwork, Molony-Benjamin said he will put in the effort needed to make the transition to the college game.

“I know I have to work hard. I have to be stronger, faster” he said. “Sonoma has the right stuff and I think I can help them.”

A two-year starter at Analy, Molony-Benjamin emerged on both ends of the court last season in helping lead the Tigers to a Sonoma County League title and a North Coast Section playoff win. He averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and more than 3 blocked shots a game.

“He’s pretty athletic. He can defend and he runs the floor pretty well for a big guy,” said Analy coach Brett Page. “When he decided to focus on basketball, he did a pretty good job.”

Playing basketball in college wasn’t a goal for Molony-Benjamin until he grew and gained greater confidence.

Sonoma State was his first choice among a handful of Bay Area colleges. Staying close to home was important.

“Staying around the area will help me focus on what I want to achieve,” he said.

Also joining the Sonoma State men’s basketball program are Isaiah Brown and Michael Avery.

Brown, a guard from Richmond High, was Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League MVP. A scorer, Brown can get to the basket and also shoot from long range.

Avery is out of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino. A tall guard, he was an All-Area Honorable Mention who helped lead the Celts to the state CIF Boys Basketball Championship Tournament.