From the accolades alone, you can tell Mykola Ediger had one heck of a basketball season.
The 6-foot-2 guard was a standout for the Half Moon Bay High School boys varsity team throughout the 2019-2020 season. In addition to being named the Peninsula Athletic League North’s Most Valuable Player, Ediger was named the Central Coast Section Junior of the Year by the sports website Prep2Prep last week.
The team went through some growing pains. There were some early losses that galvanized the coaches and players, and some changes were made to the starting lineup. Gradually, the team started to click, and the wins followed. The team eventually went on a 14-game winning streak.
Head coach John Parsons knew of Ediger’s talent, having watched him play since elementary school. But becoming the vocal leader and focal point of the team was a process for all involved.
From leading by example to picking up the intensity at practice, the responsibility was put on Ediger’s shoulders. His play improved and so did the team. He ended the season averaging 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
“It was definitely a bit of a process for him, with baby steps here and there,” Parsons said. “But I think finding that identity was a big part of our season and our turnaround.”
The Cougars finished the year with a 20-7 overall record, including going 12-0 in league play. They were the No. 3 seed and made it to the semifinals of the California Interscholastic Federation CCS Division IV 2020 boys basketball championships.
Members of the varsity team have won league MVPs and made all-league teams before. But Parsons doesn’t recall another Cougar being honored as Junior of the Year by any organization. It’s a testament to Ediger’s raw talent and his enduring work ethic, his coach says.
“It’s been really cool to see him and the rest of the team on their journey,” Parsons said. “I would encourage people to get out and watch him and this team, because he’s a special player.”