Giancarlo Santiago is 6'6 and 230 lbs. He went from being a player many felt had not chance to play college ball to being someone high major programs are watching very closely. In less than a year, Santiago put on about 20 pounds of muscle and developed his entire game including a long range jumper which is as pure as ice water out to about 22 feet.
Santiago arrived in Mississippi last night to start his Freshman year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College "MGCCC". MGCCC seems to be a place where Puerto Ricans are having some success. It started with Raymond Cintron two years ago and last year, Angel "The Little Monster" Matias enrolled at MGCCC. Matias lost weight, focused on his academics and got himself in shape. He and Santiago will create a formidable combination of size and scoring ability.
IPRB caught up with Giancarlo via text this afternoon. He was chillin' in his dorm, getting used to being the deep deep south! It is not easy going from Puerto Rico to Mississippi but when you have a dream you'll go anywhere to see that dream come true.
IPRB: Puerto Rico is in Mississippi! So how is it down there?
GS: Yeah! It's quiet now since school doesn't start until Friday. I'm happy to be here and excited.
IPRB: Raymond Cintron set the bar in terms of performance as he was a Junior College All American. Are you ready to fill his shoes?
GS: I'm here to do my job and play hard.
IPRB: Who are you rooming with?
GS: Angel Matias. He is not here yet, he is chillin at a friends' house until school starts.
IPRB: Why did you select MGCCC?
GS: They have a great coach, great facilities and other players from Puerto Rico have been successful here.
IPRB: A year ago many people thought you were not good enough to play Division 3. Clearly you have improved a tremendous amount but are you good enough to play Mid-Major D1?
GS: I can play High Major, Mid Major it doesn't matter to me. I'll play anyone, anytime.
IPRB: You played for Team Barea at the Global Challenge. What did you learn and what advice would you give young players?
GS:I learned a lot. I learned how important it is to practice and train everyday. I would tell young players to stop playing in all the leagues and start training more.
IPRB: You are one of the players we will be watching this year. We wish you the best!