Noah Foster has topped the 1,000-career point mark, but coach Steve Garzone said Foster only cares
about one thing: winning. Photo by Mike Matvey.
Noah Foster has topped the 1,000-career point mark, but coach Steve Garzone said Foster only cares about one thing: winning. Photo by Mike Matvey.

Noah Foster didn’t even know how many points he needed to reach the milestone 1,000-point mark for his career at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.

“The night before Noah scored his 1,000th point, I told the coach at Canajoharie, we were going to stop the game quickly,” said NDBG boys’ varsity coach Steve Garzone of the game last month. “In the locker room, I told the boys, ‘I just want to let you guys know that Noah is 15 points away from his 1,000th point and Noah said he had no idea how many points he even had to score … he didn’t care.”

Added Foster, who is the first boys’ player to reach the scoring plateau at NDBG since Brian Hammor in 2008: “People don’t believe, but I honestly don’t care about the 1,000 points. It really doesn’t mean that much to me; it’s not a big achievement. I just want to win games.”

Scoring and winning have been hallmarks of Foster’s senior season as he has led the Knights to a 17-2 mark and a Western Athletic Conference championship with a perfect 11-0 record. The Knights are ranked No. 23 in Class B in the state and played Fonda in the WAC season-ending tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with sectional play and, hopefully, the state tournament to come.

For the shooting guard Foster, and fellow captains — senior Nacier Hundley and juniors Todd Williamson and Rodney Parker — the sky’s the limit.
“I think as a team and as a group, we have all grown and matured. I have seen these guys mature immensely the past couple years,” said Garzone, who has coached the varsity for three years. “I don’t know if they didn’t trust me their sophomore year, but their junior year we got a little better and at this point now, I am confident enough in my coaching career and confident enough in these guys, that they can do the things that I ask. And it seems like they are always in the right position at the right time.”

And it all starts with Foster, who has parlayed his speed honed on the football field — in which he is garnering Division I attention — into success on the hardwood.

“When you think of a 1,000-point scorer, you think of a traditional basketball player; great jump shot, in the gym, AAU. He’s a talented player, but he’s a little different,” Garzone said. “He’s so fast and I would say of those 1,000 points, 700 came from layups on fast breaks. He’s done a good job of trying to improve his craft with his shooting and going up with his right hand. But if you asked him to knock down a 3-pointer or even an elbow jumper his sophomore or junior year, he probably couldn’t do it.”

“I think my speed is one of my strengths, but also one of my weaknesses, too,” said Foster. I am always going 100 miles an hour and I never really slow down. This season, I worked on my jump shot and worked on my speed and knowing when to use it.”

Foster, who credits assistant coach JJ Harvey for much of his development, has come a long way since he sat on the bench as a freshman.

“JJ made me into the player that I am … defense and offense,” Foster said. “My freshman year, he was the assistant coach and my attitude was terrible. Since I wasn’t getting the playing time I was used to, my attitude was down and I didn’t really care. But over the summer of my sophomore year, I was in the gym a lot working with him and he helped me boost my confidence up.”

Foster is quick to praise Garzone as well, adding “Coach Garzone is like a second father to me, I can ask him anything and he is always going to be there.”

Foster also is inspired by pros Paul George and especially Derrick Rose. Foster, like Rose, has had to overcome injuries, tearing his medial collateral ligament in his left knee as a freshman and the MCL in his right knee as a sophomore, both playing football. He has played through the pain not wanting to miss a season on the basketball court.

However the season finishes, Foster has fostered a lifetime of friendships on and off the court at NDBG.

“It’s a smaller school and some people don’t like that,” Foster said, “but I feel like the relationships you have with the teachers and all the people that go here are more unique and special knowing that everybody knows everybody.”