Santana

Clarkston's Xavier Santana is this week's Prep Athlete of the Week.

Sophomore Xavier Santana was a force to be reckoned with in Clarkston's big 62-50 Avista Holiday Tournament boys basketball win Dec. 28 against previously unbeaten Tacoma Annie Wright of, scoring more than half the Bantams' total with 33 points.

That represented a career-high output for the 6-foot-2 guard in high school play. He followed up with a 27-point showing in a 67-54 victory Dec. 30 against Moscow in the third-place game. His efforts gained him recognition as the Tribune's Prep Athlete of the Week.

"He has an innate ability to make plays," Clarkston coach Justin Jones said of Santana, who he called a "two-level player," posing a threat from the inside and outside. "He has bought into the process of becoming an elite player. It's something that he does on a night-in, night-out basis. ... One thing I think makes him such an exciting player is the potential he has as not only a scorer, but he wants to be coached hard and he wants to be told the truth, and as a coach, it doesn't get much better than that.

"He wants to be a leader, and he wants to learn how to become a leader, and that's exciting. He's a very good player, but he's an even better guy off the court — fun to be around, great student all-around, great student-athlete."

Santana comes from a basketball family and has been active in the sport from an early age. He competes in the offseason on an Under Armour AAU circuit.

"I just love the game," Santana said. "Love having fun, just playing."