Niko Vasquez, a shortstop prospect from Durango HS, Las Vegas, is ineligible to play until March 28, the end of the school’s third quarter. Sam Knapp, the Trailblazers’ head coach, confirmed the language of the matter Thursday morning. Nick Aiello, the assistant coach, said Vasquez "made some mistakes" in the classroom. Aiello added that Vasquez has learned his lesson and feels horrible about the situation.
Durango has 33 games on their schedule this season. The situation does not affect Vasquez’ status with Oregon State and he still intends to honor his commitment.
At the 2007 Area Code Games, Vasquez showed outstanding bat speed with a quick, compact stroke, producing unexpected power. His non-hitting tools are average to fringe-average, so he will probably shift to second base where he would be more offense-oriented. He also has shown that he can hit the ball hard with wood, something some of his prospect counterparts have not done.