As the sports world works its way back to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one Edcouch-Elsa Yellow Jacket will also be returning to his version of normalcy — competing on the basketball court.

Aaron Aguinaga, a Class of 2020 graduate of Edcouch-Elsa and three-year varsity basketball letterman, announced his decision to continue his basketball and academic career at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Washburn is an NCAA Division II school, which competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

“Truly blessed for this opportunity to continue to the next level. It’s only up from here,” Aguinaga said. It means everything to me, it’s all I’ve ever wanted and its all I’ve ever worked for.”

Aguinaga is the younger brother of former Edcouch-Elsa standout Marco Aguinaga, a senior quarterback at Baker University. The younger Aguinaga has called his older brother a role model.

While Marco established himself as one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top threats on the football field during his playing days as a signal caller for “La Maquina Amarilla,” Aaron did the same for the Yellow Jackets, but on the basketball court.

A versatile forward with the ability to score from outside or down low with his back to the basket, Aguinaga did a little bit of everything for the Yellow Jackets. During his final season with E-E, Aguinaga was the RGV’s fifth-best scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game. He also averaged 6.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

This past season, Aguinaga was named to The Monitor’s All-Area Boys Basketball second team and was voted to the District 32-5A first team. In 38 games as a junior, Aguinaga averaged 12.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

As a senior, Aguinaga was frequently the best player on the court and faced swarming defenses and double teams. Still, he often found ways to overcome and convert for a Yellow Jackets bucket.

Midway through his senior season, Aguinaga eclipsed the 1,000-points scored mark to etrench himself as one of the best to ever suit up for Edcouch-Elsa.

“I feel truly grateful and blessed with this God given talent and being able to achieve such an historical goal. I feel like throughout the years I got better and better just by trying to out work those that are working just as hard to be even better,” he said.

But Aguinaga knows more work lies ahead as he prepares to play for Washburn.

“These past four years have been a true blessing. Being able to play this sport with all I got has been truly amazing, I’ll never forget all the memories it has brought me, but bigger things are waiting,” Aguinaga said. “The work isn’t over yet.”

bramos@themonitor.com