Central Wyoming Rustler Junior College, Signs Lorence Dela Cruz, Manitoba Basketball Player Of The Year
The prospect of Canadian high school basketball players competing against the best All-American athletes was virtually impossible twenty years ago. And for the few that were fortunate to attend an American College to play basketball were from Ontario, B.C, or Quebec. It is infrequent to make it onto a roster of an elite National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (N.J.C.A.A) Junior College Division 1 powerhouse school from Winnipeg on a full scholarship.
Several decades later, the elite American colleges are turning to Winnipeg for talent to fill their programs. And when the opportunity came knocking Mr. Lorence Dela Cruz, St. Paul High School superstar, all Canadian, was ready to answer the call.
Dela Cruz is a once-in-a-generation talent; he is smarter, stronger, and more skilled than the competition. The 5’9 lightning quick point guard is also deadly accurate shooting averaging a provincial best 51.8 fg%, 40.5% from behind the 3-point arc, with a mindblowing 35.3 points per game.
The reigning number one ranked high school athlete and basketball player of the year have compiled a high school career that has forever etched his name in the Manitoba basketball record books. Dela Cruz has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players to come out of Manitoba.
“We are so proud of our son; he has been an inspiration for Manitobans and the Filipino community.” Said Evelyn and Bong Dela Cruz, Lorence’s parents.
Bong recalled Lorence’s early love for the game and knew he was special. While watching his father play, Lorence would imitate his moves from the sidelines. He is a natural leader on and off the court and never loses focus or his cool in pressure situations.
Lorence’s athletic ability stretches beyond basketball; he is also a cross country provincial champion and an all-Canadian academic. Lorence’s ability on the basketball court made him one of the most highly recruited athletes within Canada, with the top Universities wanting him to suit up.
Talent like Lorence needs to be on the big stage, and none bigger than Central Wyoming College. He got instantly signed to a full ride on a referral alone from the head coach of the University of North Dakota. The coach saw him dunk over a 6’4 player in the middle of a game and knew he was witnessing the play of a future all-American. And according to his future coach, Lorence will not only be a starter; he may be one of the greatest players he has ever coached.
The sky is the limit for Dela Cruz. He is cerebral, very coachable, and puts in the work required to compete at an elite level. Dela Cruz will once again put on the team Mantiboa uniform as he has done so many times before, representing his province at the Canada Summer Games in New Brunswick over the coming weeks. After that, he will embark on a new journey as he dons the jersey of Central Wyoming Rustlers, and proudly represents Canada and the Philippines.
Dela Cruz’s ascension into a top-tier Division one Junior College American basketball program has once again put Winnipeg on the map of recruiters. He has also defied all odds and proved commitment, effort, and perseverance would all be the keys to success and winning.