2020 Eisenhower point guard Teddy Rodriguez is one of the most exciting players in the Big Nine Conference. 

So far this season, this 5-foot-9 senior is averaging career highs in several major categories, including points (13) and assists (5). If Rodriguez continues at this pace, he’ll be well on his way to earning the second All-League award of his career.

His team has largely struggled this season, as they are last in the Big Nine, but Rodriguez has been instrumental in keeping them competitive in many of their games.

“Everyday at practice we’re working hard,” Rodriguez said. “when we step on the court, we just fight. We know we’re undersized, but we still desire to win every time.” 

When you talk about top players in the Yakima area, there are plenty of names worth mentioning. 

West Valley has Logan Kinloch, Selah has Noah Pepper, Davis has Jose Reyes and Earl Lee. But when Eisenhower Basketball is brought up, Teddy Rodriguez should be the first name that comes to mind. 

There’s very good reason for this. Rodriguez has been a highly effective starter for the Cadets these last three seasons. With his even-keeled demeanor and quality presence, he’s been as close to a ‘face of the program’ as you can have in high school hoops.

Rodriguez’ dedication has not only helped Eisenhower on the court, but it’s also helped in molding a new era in Cadets Basketball.

The Eisenhower program has seen some mighty struggles during the last decade. They’ve been plighted with 10 straight losing seasons, and five different head coaches during that span.

Rodriguez himself has had three different head coaches during his career. But his most recent coach, Christian McDonald, appears to be locked in for the long haul. 

McDonald took over two years ago, and he’s made his intentions clear in wanting to establish a winning culture. He gives Rodriguez’ a lot of props in helping establish that culture. 

“Teddy has definitely helped bring his work ethic to the younger guys and his teammates,” McDonald said. “We are now getting kids that haven’t played much AAU or team basketball before, and [Teddy] shows them a fine example of how to work, and what hard work can get you.” 

Fast and aggressive is the best way to describe Rodriguez’ game. He’s a fairly undersized player at 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, but he makes up for it with tenacity and heart on both ends of the floor. 

One of the most noticeable differences about his play this year is his ability to recognize what the defense is doing, and then give his offense the best chance to succeed. It’s one of the most important skills a point guard can have, and Rodriguez has taken it to a whole new level this season.

Rodriguez’ hard work has also proven big dividends on the college recruiting front. 

During this past off-season, he was receiving heavy interest from schools like Walla Walla University, Multnomah University, Eastern Oregon University, and Corban University. 

Ultimately, the school that captured his heart the most was Multnomah.

“When you go to a college, you want to make sure it’s a place you can fit in,” Rodriguez said. “Not only with the system, but also with the culture and with the guys. Those guys will be my brothers for the next four years.” 

His future teammates at Multnomah will often text him on gameday wishing him good luck, and even offering advice on how to get better.  

Other factors in his decision include the school’s Christianity affiliation (Rodriguez is strong in his faith), close proximity to home, and potential to earn playing time early. 

His plan is to major in exercise science, with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer. Down the line, Rodriguez has the vision of opening a training center.

“Something with a weight room, a basketball court, and programs to train kids and team work,” Rodriguez said. 

Over his three years on the Ike varsity roster, Rodriguez has had plenty of big time performances. But perhaps none stand out more than when he scored an astounding 17 points in two minutes against Eastmont last year. It shows that when he puts it all together, he’s capable of incredible things.

Mathematically speaking, it will be very difficult for Eisenhower to qualify for the Big Nine tournament, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see Teddy Rodriguez in action this season.

A game worth circling is on February 11th against Davis. Ike will be doing everything in their power to take down their cross-town rival. 

“We definitely have a fire lit under us,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a great opportunity to finish high school basketball strong, with a lot of the teammates that I started with.”