Rick’s Sports Corner: Providence Hoops Floor Leader, Alex Kizirian

The senior point guard will attend Glendale Community College and transfer to USC where he will major in business.

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By Rick Assad

One slight but important tweak early in the season by Anthony Cosby, the Providence High boys’ basketball coach, changed the arc of the campaign for the better.

Alex Kizirian had been playing shooting guard for the Pioneers, but the head man decided to move the senior to point guard.

That’s when the team began to gel and gain confidence and started to win more consistently after beginning the campaign 2-2 in November.

Providence went 5-6 in December and showed promise despite being under .500, but in January the Pioneers blossomed and carved out an 8-2 record and seemed more prepared for a long run in the CIF Southern Section Division II AA playoffs.

They were after winning the opening round game 77-70 over Valencia and came within a whisker of beating visiting Fountain Valley, but ultimately lost 54-50 in a game the team could have won.

“During the beginning of our season, we struggled for the most part. We then gained momentum when the coach decided to rearrange the backcourt and move me from the shooting guard to the point guard,” said Kizirian who averaged 10 points across 28 games in which he started for the Pioneers. “Once my role changed, the team was able to build more chemistry, and everybody settled into their roles which led to success.”

Providence went 18-11 and 7-1 for first place in the Prep League as Kizirian, who was given the Scholar-Athlete Award and Most Improved Player Award, had a hand in getting the team headed in a winning direction.

Providence senior Alex Kizirian was the floor leader and helped the team reach the CIF Soutern Section Division II AA second round. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Kizirian, who played two years on the varsity and four years overall, will attend Glendale Community College for one year and hopes to transfer to USC where he will major in business, knew he is more suited to be a passer rather than a shooter after averaging eight assists in his final campaign.

“My best asset on the floor is my playmaking and court vision skills,” he admitted. “I was always able to put my teammates in positions to score the ball.”

There were jitters before a game, but they subsided once the contest began for Kizirian, who was named to the National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation and Honor Roll.

“Prior to tip-off I would lock in on my defensive assignment and lock in on executing on the first possession,” he said.

One game stands out for Kizirian who averaged nearly three rebounds and two steals this past season.

“The game that I felt was the most important was the packed-out road game at Flintridge Prep,” he said of the 40-39 setback. “This game was going to decide the outright winner of our league.”

Despite winning many games and playing especially well toward the latter portion of the campaign, the ultimate prize eluded the Pioneers. 

“I feel like we were not prepared enough because of inexperience and a young lineup,” Kizirian said of the season ending game.

Looking back, the lack of a title despite having a talented and dynamic squad doesn’t sit well with Kizirian.

Alex Kizirian is about to take a jumper for the Pioneers. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

“I was not satisfied with what my team and I accomplished because we were not able to make a run in the playoffs,” he said.

As a floor leader, Kizirian, who was in the National Art Honor Society and the Christian Service Award winner, tried to set an example for the team.

“I would try to hold my teammates accountable for their performances and I would do the same for myself,” he said. “I would also watch a film on that game multiple times to see and analyze what we can improve on.”

Kizirian never took anything for granted and was always a dedicated worker and would hope for the best knowing the hard work would be an edge.

“During my experience, I learned that I should not worry about the things I can’t control, and I should act on the ones that I can control,” he said. “Work hard and come in with an open mindset.”

As a junior, Kizirian had a hand in the Pioneers going 18-11 and 7-1 in league and making the Division II A opening round, losing to Palos Verdes 66-47.

Even though Kizirian’s final season at Providence didn’t end up with a championship banner, he nonetheless is happy that he was able to put the uniform on and give everything he had.

“Looking back, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to play all four years at Providence,” he said. “I will also remember all the great memories on and off the court with my teammates.”

That’s really all anyone could ask for.