By Steve Svetovich
Holy Cross senior small forward Gabe Gonzales is one of the leaders on the hardwood for veteran coach Al Callejas this season.
Coach Callejas has not missed a game this season following a cancer diagnosis the previous year. His players continue to support and rally around him.
“Coach Callejas is doing good,” Gabe said. “He comes to practice ready every day. He hasn’t missed a practice or a game. He is going right after it and we continue to support him.”
Son of Melissa Gonzales, Gabe said his mom is a strong support for him.
“My mom tells me to always work hard because nothing comes easy. She tells me you only get good results with hard work.”
The senior stalwart said coach Callejas has taught him so much about life.
“Coach Callejas has taught me so many life lessons,” he said. “There are so many. He tells us that people will get on you all the time, but you just have to keep fighting.
“He tells us life is full of highs and lows, but you need to learn from the lows. The lows are the most important, That’s where you learn. You have to keep moving forward.”
The senior scholar-athlete has a 3.3 grade point average. His favorite subject is math. Gabe is not sure where he will attend college, but is leaning towards Wilkes University. He wants to study nursing and play college basketball.
The talented forward scored 16 points in his team’s 58-52 loss to Scranton in the semifinal of the 71st Lynett Memorial Basketball Tournament Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the Lackawanna College Student Union. Oliver Almonte led Scranton with 18 points.
Gabe scored 10 points in the consolation game–a 61-48 Holy Cross win over Dunmore–of the Lynett Tournament.
The hard-working senior is also a tight end on the Holy Cross football team.
Gabe, who led the Crusaders to four wins in the first seven games this season, talked about what it takes to excel at the forward position in high school basketball. “You need to create three things,” he said. “You need to be able to shoot the ball, post up, and finish off. You need to be a good overall scorer, to make the right passes, and play good defense.”
He talked about his future goals. “I want to play some more basketball, finish college with a nursing degree and make good money with a great career. I want to be a registered nurse.”
His goal for the rest of the basketball season is an ambitious one. “We don’t want to lose another game for the rest of the season. We want to win the league title and go on from there.”
The strong-willed senior talked about his decision to study nursing in college. “It’s a great career and you get to help people. You are always secure with a job, too, so it is an easy decision for me.”
Gabe enjoys listening to music and would like to see Drake in concert.
He has enjoyed his experience at Holy Cross. “It’s been just a great overall experience,” he said. “The education here is great. The faculty, teachers, students, my teammates and coaches have been great.”