Michael Hayes

Michael Hayes of the Hawks dunks a basket during a Las Positas game against Chabot. (Independent file photo)

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced athletes to take virtual recruiting visits, things are jumping for Las Positas College men’s basketball coach James Giacomazzi.

The proactive head coach helped five Hawks players from his 20-win team in the 2019-2020 season sign with four-year schools.

The Hawks’ biggest name, Michael Hayes of Tracy, the Co-State Player of the Year, was the last Las Positas player to sign – landing with Division II Chico State.

The 6-foot-4 Hayes had a spectacular career at Las Positas. Last season, he finished No. 2 in the state in rebounds and No. 6 in scoring. He also received interest from Division I schools Southern Illinois, Idaho State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Utah Valley University, University of South Dakota.

But he chose Chico State, which had recruited him out of West High in Tracy, because it fit him academically and athletically, Giacomazzi said. Hayes’ friend and former AAU teammate Josh Hamilton also plays for Chico State.

“He knew the coaches at Chico and ultimately just chose familiarity and comfort and an opportunity to get his degree and also be fairly close to home in this climate that we’re in,” Giacomazzi said of Hayes, a late academic qualifier.

Among the earlier Hawks’ signees were Drew Mork, a native of Arvik, Sweden, with California University of Pennsylvania; Wesley Burse, with Bethel University in Indiana; and Michael Moore, with Hope International in Orange County. Matt Roseby is transferring to University of Sydney, Australia, his native country.

Mork, a Freedom High-Oakley graduate, credits Giacomazzi with preparing him for the next step.

“I think Coach James did a great job of developing me and getting me a bunch of options,” Mork said. “I had a good season, numbers-wise. My stats were right there, and I think he did a great job with that.”