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Aaron Estrada

Aaron Estrada leads Latinos in NCAA Tournament

Dominicans star for three SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament

Unlike the previous three years, there isn’t a major Latino star with strong odds of reaching the Men’s Final Four this year. According to the seeds, though, Alabama’s Aaron Estrada and Auburn’s Chad Baker-Mazara are the two Latinos with the best odds to reach the Men’s Final Four.

Former UCLA star Jaime Jaquez Jr. is now with the Miami Heat. The biggest Latino stars during this year’s March Madness are Latinas on the women’s side, but there are some Latinos who should shine on the men’s side.

As we do every year, Our Esquina is listing all of the Latinos to follow in the NCAA Tournament. 

Alabama guard Aaron Estrada might be the most accomplished Latino in the NCAA Tournament. He is averaging 13.5 points per game at Alabama, which is his third school. The 6-foot-3 guard from Woodbury, N.J., is at his fourth university.

Aaron Estrada takes circuitous route to Tuscaloosa

Before enrolling at Alabama as a graduate student, he played at St. Peter’s, Hofstra and Oregon.

Akron’s Enrique Freeman is one of the best stories in college hoops. The 6-foot-7 senior from Cleveland led the Zips to the MAC Tournament title.

Freeman has averaged 18.6 points and 12.9 points per game this season. The 2024 MAC Player of the Year arrived at Akron on an academic scholarship after not receiving any athletic scholarship offers.

Texas A&M’s Andersson Garcia is a rebounding specialist and the heart of the ninth-seeded Aggies. The senior from the Dominican Republic set A&M’s single-season rebounding record. Fellow Dominican Chad Baker-Mazara is averaging 10.3 points a game at Auburn, the No. 4 seed in the East Region.

Giancarlo Valdez plays at Stetson. Desai Lopez comes off the bench for San Diego State. Argentine guard Francisco Farabello comes off the bench for Creighton. Mexican American Isa Silva comes off the bench for Long Beach State, where he averages 2.5 points per game.


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Forward Giancarlo Rosado is averaging five points per game at Florida Atlantic. His Puerto Rican teammate Alejandro Ralat has averaged 2 points per game for the Owls this season.

Freshman guard Bubz Alvarez has averaged 1.9 points per game at South Dakota State. Javier Ezquerra will try to help Wagner advance beyond the play-in game against Howard. The Puerto Rican guard has averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a junior.

Drake’s 6-foot-10 senior forward Darnell Brodie is a Dominican American from Newark, N.J. He is averaging 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Lendeborg, Vazquez and Ortiz help UAB

The University of Alabama-Birmingham has a trio of Latinos who are key contributors. Yaxel Lendeborg, a Dominican American from Pennsauken, N.J., leads UAB in scoring and rebounding. He is scoring 13.9 points per game and grabbing 10.7 rebounds per game. Lendeborg also leads UAB with 2.1 blocks per game.

Alejandro Vazquez is averaging 11.3 points per game for UAB. The junior from Queens, N.Y., is shooting 44.2 percent this season. Junior guard Daniel Ortiz averages 6.8 points for UAB. 

Forward Carlos Rosario, a native of the Dominican Republic, averages 2.3 points per game for Drake. Nate Santos has averaged 12 points per game at Dayton. The junior from Geneva, Ill., is also grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game this year. The 6-foot-7 forward is one of the Flyers’ key players. Koby Brea, a Dominican American from Washington Heights, N.Y., is averaging 10.9 points for the Flyers.

Oregon guard Jesse Zarzuela has averaged 10 points a game for the Ducks. The senior from Houston is tied for the fourth best scoring average on the team.

Javohn Garcia is one of McNeese’s top players. The junior from Columbus, Ohio, is averaging 11.4 points per game this season. Costa Rican guard Ian Martinez has averaged 13.1 points per game this season for Utah State. 

Featured art by Alabama Men’s Basketball.

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