When Connor Streett isn’t sending back shot attempts from an opponent, there’s a good chance he’s tossing his latest catch back in the ocean.
The avid fisherman and Bishop Diego big man has played a huge role for the boys basketball team in its run to the CIF-SS Div. 5AA championship game, though he’s quick to point out that fishing is his first love.
He was introduced to the sport at age 7, and now, at 16, he’s out on the water every chance he gets.
“I go just about every weekend,” he told the News-Press.
The high school junior loves to be out on the water so much that he’s already made plans to take the boat out Sunday morning when recreational groundfishing officially opens up for local waters. He hopes to have some extra jewelry in tow.
“The season’s been closed. It opens March 1, Sunday, the day after our championship. Hopefully I’ll come home with a ring and then go fishing,” he said. “That’s the plan. Get the job done and figure out Sunday morning and go have fun.”
While Connor and the Cardinals have seemed to thrive under pressure, winning back to back home playoff contests in front of huge crowds at the Brick House, Streett said he’s most at peace while out in the water.
“It doesn’t get any better than that, seeing wildlife and nature all around and enjoying himself,” he said, adding that he enjoys fishing for halibut and rockfish.
If the Streett name seems familiar when it comes to Bishop athletics, that’s because Connor’s older brother, Dylan, is a former standout three-sport athlete for the Cardinals. Connor credits his older brother for not just teaching him the game of basketball, but also helping him choose to attend Bishop in the first place.
“It all started with my brother,” he said. “He came here and I supported him through basketball, baseball and football, and I thought this was a good family community. It feels like a family and I felt like this was a place I wanted to be moving forward. I came here and I’ve felt apart of the family ever since.”
Connor and Dylan have also had their fare share of driveway battles, with the older Streett typically coming out on top.
“He taught me basically everything I know about basketball,” Connor said. “James (Coronado) has been a huge influence too, but ever since I was young it’s been me and him one on one in the driveway.
“He’s always just pounded me and pounded me. I’ve learned to lose, but I’ve also learned to come back harder and harder.”
Before every game, Connor has come to expect a text message from his brother.
“Every game I’ll get a text from him saying ‘good luck bro,’ That’s our thing and I love that about it,” Connor said.
Dylan has moved on to play for Willamette University, a Division III program in Salem, Oregon. Connor has watched a few games in person, while catching as much as he can through the school’s online feed.
Coronado has been fortunate to coach both Streett boys. While they have similar builds – tall, long arms and a high motor – their personalities couldn’t be more different, the fourth-year Cardinals coach told the News-Press.
“They’re like night and day,” he said.
Dylan welcomed getting coached hard. He loved the pressure and preferred being challenged by his coaches. Connor also loves to compete, though he has a different approach when it comes to preparation.
“That’s where we hit a bit of a crossroads,” Coronado said. “When I just eased off him a little bit, more and more he was letting me know that he was going to be ready for the game. I could always count on him to be ready for the game. He showed me, like ‘hey, I could lead this team. I just need to do it in my own way.’
“As soon as I let go, it’s been on the up and up from there.”
Coronado said that Streett has taken huge strides in his maturity this season. While Bishop relies on Kai Morphy, Matthew Cunningham and Tyler Williams to produce the scoring, players like Streett and Marcus Chan have impacted the games in their own way.
“He’s been lights out,” Coronado said of Streett. “Everything we ask him to do, he’s done. Matt gets the credit, Kai gets the credit and Tyler gets the credit because they hit all the shots, but Marcus and Connor is what help us win.”
Throughout the season, Streett has told the News-Press that scoring is not a priority for him. He would be happy to go out and collect every single rebound, set hard screens and block shots at the rim. Like any post player, clean blocks get called as fouls, but Streett just takes it in stride.
“When they call (a foul) once in a while, it gets frustrating,” he said. “As long as I get a couple, it’s all good. That’s my job. I have my role and I try to do it every game.”
His rim protection has been valuable for the Cardinals. It allows the guards and perimeter players to gamble for steals, knowing that the 6’3 Streett will be there to alter the opponent’s shots.
“It’s great. I know that if my man gets by me, we’ll have someone going straight up and protecting the rim at all times,” Cunningham told the News-Press following Bishop’s 59-50 win over Vistamar in the semifinals.
“He’s tall and he’s long,” added Morphy. “He can get in there and get boards and crucial offensive boards. He knows his role and he plays it really well.”
Streett is just one of several Bishop players who seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. The team has embraced playing together, which Streett said is a huge part of the playoff run.
“We’re moving the ball and, even at practice, we have fun together. We like each other and we have fun together,” he said. “I think it’s really big to be part of something like that. We’re like family.”