Success on the basketball court is nothing new for Canton's Jorge Gutierrez. He earned Colorado's Class 4A Mr. Basketball honors in high school , and Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Pac 12 Player of the Year awards during his 2012 season at Cal. Now the long-haired, fearless, and determined point guard is adding tools to his already impressive game while in the NBA D-League.
Gutierrez's story spans from an early childhood in Mexico, to thriving in the Denver high school basketball scene which led to a successful stint at legendary Findlay Prep. Gutierrez played four years at Cal, and became known as one of the nation's top point guards. As evidenced from his playing style, Gutierrez has had to earn everything that he's achieved the hard way.
At 15-years-old, Gutierrez was forced to grow up quickly along with three other teenagers who had to live in a one-bedroom apartment all on their own. With very little money sent from his family in Mexico, Gutierrez alongside his roommates, was able to use his basketball skills and an extremely hard work ethic to carve out a path of success. Now, Gutierrez finds himself on the doorstep of the NBA playing for the Canton Charge in the NBA D-League.
The Charge drafted Gutierrez in the second round of the NBADL draft with the 10th pick. The 6-3, 195 pound guard didn't exactly shine immediately this season for Canton, especially offensively. Gutierrez averaged 7.3 points shooting 32% (29-89) from the field during his first 12 games. Yet, in his last 7 games Gutierrez has scored in double-digits each contest, and is averaging 14.5 points a game.
In the D-League, Gutierrez is currently third overall in steals per game, he is averaging 2.1. It is one of his greatest strengths, as a player who has been praised for his sticky defensive skills. Earlier this season against Rio Grande Valley, Gutierrez chalked up 6 total steals, his highest total in a game all season.
As Gutierrez continues to hone his offensive skills in the D-League while continuing to play with his highly touted hustle-style, and defensive dominance, we could see Gutierrez's name soon as a top prospect in the NBADL. It's true that the NBA D-League is heavy with talented point guards, however, Gutierrez's game is a bit different than most of the guards receiving high recognition in the league this season.
Players like Gutierrez who can thrive amid chaos on the court, are guys that NBA scouts and NBA executives look for. Gutierrez certainly isn't a shoe in for an NBA 10-day contract at the moment, but if the speedy and feisty guard can continue to improve his offensive skills, he can become a top point guard prospect in the NBA D-League.