Player Profiles: Joseph Valera and Peyton Gerdes

Joe Valera:

By now, most students and fans alike see the speed and shooting ability of senior Joseph Valera. His clutchness is unmatched, and his grace on the court is a work of art.

Valera’s ball control and moves are spectacular to watch. Valera’s footwork is unprecedented and his ability to steal the ball, score, and distribute the ball is unlike any other on the court. Joe averages 3.2 steals a game and 14 points per game.
“He is hands down quicker than every other human in this school. That is the biggest separation. He is that quick. Joe is one of the best ball handlers we have had in the program. Also, he can shoot and take care of the ball,” said assistant basketball coach Scott Ewen.

Valera broke the single season steals record with one hundred plus. For anyone who isn’t aware, Valera hit the game winning basket against Grayslake Central. Valera was given the ball with five seconds left and hit a spin move buzzer beater to win the game.
“You already know, there’s five seconds left, Donohue gives me the ball, little spin move, game winner against the rival school. That’s how it ends,” said senior Joe Valera.

Peyton Gerdes:

Fans and students alike have heard about Peyton Gerdes. How could people not? One thousand career points, blocks after blocks, buckets after buckets, and a very important player on the basketball team.

Gerdes’ competitiveness is like no other, and it is clear to any spectator when she steps on the court she wants to win. Gerdes’ love for the game makes her push herself to be better.
“She works at it year round. She loves the game, dedicated to it. The amount of time she spends working on her game is what sets her apart. She is self motivated and she wants to be better,” said girls basketball coach Roger Lass.

Gerdes, outside of the season at Grayslake North, puts in major work to become the best she can. In her career, she just hit a major milestone that she was very proud of.
“I put in a lot of work outside of the sport. I go to the gym a lot. This season it was probably when I hit my one thousand point mark. My teammates cheered me on, and it was a big deal for me, and I got the game ball,” Gerdes said.