Sharyland Pioneer’s Derek Luna had himself quite a nice Monday.
The senior guard first learned he was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5A All-State Team, as voted on by high school boys basketball coaches across the state. Luna was the only basketball player from the Rio Grande Valley to earn a spot on the 3A, 4A, 5A or 6A teams.
A few hours later, Luna announced his decision to continue his athletic and academic career at the collegiate level with a verbal commitment to Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for surrounding me with great people and for allowing me to play the game that I love,” Luna said in his announcement. “I want to thank the (McAllen) Rowe, Duncanville and Pioneer communities for accepting and treating me like family. To family and friends, I appreciate every single of one you and your support does not go unnoticed. To my sisters, thank you guys for always being there and believing in me. To my parents, thank you for instilling hard work, patience and dedication in me. I love you. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very proud to announce that I will be committing to Texas A&M-Kingsville.”
Luna first announced he received an offer from Texas A&M-Kingsville head basketball coach Johnny Estelle last Tuesday. On Monday, he made it official and accepted the offer.
In 28 games for the Diamondbacks this year, Luna averaged 17.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.6 steals. He reached the 20-point mark in 13 of his games played this season despite sitting out a number of fourth quarters due to Sharyland Pioneer being up big on the scoreboard with double-digit margins in 21 of the team’s 28 wins.
Luna also helped Sharyland Pioneer make program history during the 2019-20 season as the Diamondbacks won the District 31-5A title with a perfect 14-0 record and advanced to the 5A regional tournament, the school’s deepest playoff run since opening its doors six years ago. The Diamondbacks finished the year with a 28-7 overall record, which ranks No. 1 in program history.
Now, Luna will prepare to take his game just under two hours north where he’ll look to make an impact with the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas, who compete in the Lone Star Conference in Division II. The Javelinas finished third in the Lone Star Conference last season with a 21-9 overall record and 16-6 mark in conference.