By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—North Salem-Grad Isaac Astorga has been making some moves since he graduated in 2016. He played at Portland Bible College for two years, seeing action in 26 games as a sophomore averaging 8.3 minutes a game for a Wildcat squad that was ranked seventh nationally and had taken down College of Idaho, who was ranked number-one.
Astroga has dabbled in coaching during his College days coaching AAU basketball in Vancouver, Washington with Clark Elite, Portlant with One on One Basketball, Inc. as well as clinics and camps there. He’s Coached the French Prairie Middle School Seventh-Grade A-team in Woodburn before becoming the Head JV Coach at Mannahouse Christian Academy (formerly City Christian) and was an Varsity assistant this past season.
The Lions pulled an upset of Columbia Christian before falling to 2A powerhouse Western Christian in the opening round of the 2A playoffs.
For the Viking-grad Astorga, basketball has given him a lot of opportunity up to this point in his life.
“Basketball has given me opportunities to play all the way from the Alaska Airlines Center (Freshman year) in Alaska to having the privilege to play in the national tournament in South Carolina,” he said via email. “I would love to help out other athletes reach their potential and hopefully get to experience the same opportunities this game has given to me!”
Astorga is currently teaching at Mannhouse Christian Academy, but is apart of Capital City Elite. The AAU basketball Club started in October 2019 by Astorga’s brother Aris, himself and a few parents in helping giving athlete’s an opportunity to experience AAU ball that otherwise wouldn’t have.
“The reason we decided to start our AAU club this way is because Kaleb, my nephew, had been playing recreational basketball in Salem,” starts Astorga. “Due to lack of competitive clubs in his age group (1st and 2nd grade) in Salem he was playing up 1 or 2 grades. After a Rec season where the games lacked competitiveness and was not fun for anyone due to the lopsided scores, we began to do some research to try and find something more competitive. In doing this research we found most clubs were charging anywhere from 275$ to upwards of 500$ a season per child.
“We also found we could register a whole team for the same tournaments and leagues for a fraction of the cost since as coaches we volunteered our time. For us it was a no brainer so we talked it over with our team families and found some very generous sponsors. We were able to give the same “competitive” experience for less than half the cost of any other local Travel or AAU team.”
Competitive basketball can be played year-round said Astorga, but the club decided to take the Spring off for athletes to allowed their athlete’s to play baseball and practice on-and-off until the summertime where they could joining a league in Portland and 3-on-3 tournaments. The biggest goal is to bring training, camps down the road even for kids to have a safe place where they can have fun, enjoy healthy competition with friends and people around their age.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, it tossed a monkey-wrench in their plans, but they are making the most of it in the meantime with doing stuff virtually as Capital City Elite looks to keep kids involved during these crazy times. Prizes, weekly workout challenges, film sessions virtually from past game film to see how other players played and the moves they’ve used; things to keep the kids involved.
“After some thought I brought the idea of virtual training to my brother Aris and together we decided it would be more fun for kids to invite their friends from school and open it up to everyone,” said Astorga. “Not only will it be good for our players to stay active and continue working on their skill but we also think it’s important for them to have the social aspect of seeing their friends and people their age which was lost by having to stay home.”
“We also understand that our age group are just kids so we also give them opportunities to do that within the interactions we have by taking advantage of our water breaks to ask them fun questions or play fun games to break up our basketball workouts.”
For more information visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/capcityelite/, Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/capcityelitebasketball/. Questions? Email them at: email@example.com