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Player of the Decade: LeAndrew Knight is the first boys basketball nominee
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Player of the Decade: LeAndrew Knight is the first boys basketball nominee

You need a point guard? LeAndrew Knight can help you out.

Some extra scoring punch is needed? Knight can handle that, too.

Relentless defense? No question. Knight has got you covered. 

The former Cabrillo standout was the ideal perimeter player for four years in Vandenberg. 

At 6-foot-3, he possessed great size for either guard position and the skill-set to pair it with. Knight was consistently tasked with running the offense for Cabrillo, which dominated the Los Padres League under Knight's watch.

But he could just as easily score on his own. Knight was a strong, athletic guard that attacked the paint and developed into a reliable shooter.

With his long arms and strength, Knight could also turn up the intensity on his defense.

Knight's steady production at Cabrillo makes him the first nominee for the Times' Player of the Decade contest. There will be 16 nominees from all of San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County. 

“When I came here my freshman year, I had to figure out the game changed and how it was a lot faster. So I learned a lot and learned how to get in the weight room and hit the gym, so I can compete with these guys,” Knight told Lorenzo Reyna of the Lompoc Record in 2017. “Every day since my freshman year, I would come in here early in the morning and afternoon and get myself better…in order to compete with the top athletes from around here.”

Knight helped Cabrillo win four straight Los Padres League titles, going 55-1 in league games during his four seasons at CHS. The lone loss was a 67-57 defeat to rival Lompoc. 

“LeAndrew is in here Monday through Saturday at 5 a.m. or after hours. He’s just completely dedicated to his craft,” former Cabrillo coach CJ Simmons said of Knight, according to Reyna. “He works extremely hard, is a great leader and I’ve never been around a young kid who was so anxious to be great at something he loves." 

Knight was named the Times' All-Area MVP in 2017 and was the All-Area Offensive Player of the Year in 2018. He topped 1,000 points in his career and was named the LPL MVP in back-to-back seasons. 

Knight was oh-so-close to making deep playoff runs, but saw his team eliminated in heart-breaking fashion each year at Cabrillo. In Knight's sophomore season, the Conqs were eliminated in a 55-53 CIF-SS loss at Palm Springs in the second round of the Division 3A playoffs.

During Knight's junior season (2016-17), Cabrillo lost 61-60 to Santa Fe Springs St. Paul and, as a senior, Arroyo Grande knocked out Cabrillo on a last-second shot in a 47-46 playoff win. 

After graduating from Cabrillo in 2018, Knight has spent the last two years at Santa Monica College. He has reportedly signed to finish up his collegiate career with Cal State San Bernardino.

"LeAndrew has been an amazing addition to our program these past two years. He was a great student at SMC," coach Joshua Thomas said, according to a press release from the school. "...We have to commend him for his team-first mentality. LeAndrew was a starter for us his freshman year and was very accepting of his role as sixth man this year. He was a strong foundation and that comes from his loving family. We know LeAndrew will be a huge success in life and reach his all of his goals. He was a dream to coach, and we are thankful to be a part of his journey."

Knight averaged 10.7 points per game on 55% shooting last year for Santa Monica. He added 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. 

The Times is polling current and former coaches to develop its list of nominees for Player of the Decade. The rest of the nominees will be announced before a tournament-style voting contest will be held to determine the girls basketball Player of the Decade. Readers will be able to vote online at santamariatimes.com; lompocrecord.com and syvnews.com. Players from Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County whose final seasons where in between 2009-10 and 2019-20 are eligible.

Player of the Decade Boys Basketball: Get to know the nominees before voting starts

We have been working to highlight the decade's best players in several different sports over the last few months, and now we continue with boys basketball. Go through this collection of profiles of our nominees and get ready for the voting.  We've really enjoyed the level of participation we've had with the football and girls basketball polls, so share these profiles and the contest with your friends to get the word out and support our local athletes.  

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