Originally from Santiago, Chile, Idaho State junior guard Geno Luzcando has made an impact on the men’s basketball team from the minute he stepped on campus.
Luzcando found ISU through a family friend that was living in Provo and in his three seasons with the Bengals, he has appeared in at least 30 games each season.
“The coach challenged me, trusted me and showed the appreciation,” Luzcando said of Head Coach Bill Evans.
Luzcando came off the bench his freshman season while averaging 15.6 minutes per contest but was soon promoted to a starting role. Last year, he set a school record in field goal percentage.
Luzcando was the only Bengal to start in every game during the 2015-2016 season. His breakout season lead to an All-Conference Honorable Mention as he scored in double figures in all but five games.
“I don’t think he’s selfish enough,” said teammate Robert Jones. “He wants to help everyone else so much and he has such a big heart for his teammates.”
That unselfish mentality has led to Luzcando filling up the stat sheet across multiple categories this season. This year, Luzcando is averaging 10.4 points per game, while shooting 48 percent from the field and five rebounds per game.
Although he was born in Chile, Luzcando’s success on the court began while he attended the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, UT. During his senior season, Luzcando won a Utah State Championship in basketball as he averaged 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals per game during the state tournament, leading to a tournament MVP award. He ended the season ranked as the 4th best point guard in the state of Utah.
“I improved a lot because of gaining confidence in myself and the coach having confidence in me,” Luzcando said. “Last year and this year he allowed me to do more things that I’m confident in.”
Luzcando plans to graduate next spring with a degree in business management with a possible minor in accounting.
One of his most memorable moments during his time at ISU was a road game against Utah Valley earlier this season.
“We went to travel there and I had a lot of family and friends watching me there,” Luzcando said.
Among other memories, Luzcando has are the relationships he has with his teammates.
“I’ll never forget the first time I met him, it was early in the summer,” Jones said. “I was in the back gym and he walked in and we immediately started playing one-on-one. I had the toughest time scoring on him, he’s one of the best competitors I’ve come across.”
Jones said that Luzcando’s toughness and experience makes him a great teacher.
After graduating, Luzcando has dreams of playing basketball all over the world, although for now he wants to stay close to Pocatello.
He does have plans on returning to Chile, but only to visit family.
“I’m grateful to be his teammate,” Jones said.