Woodbury's Aaron Estrada enjoyed a great Final Four run

by Marc Narducci | Apr 8, 2024
Woodbury's Aaron Estrada enjoyed a great Final Four run
South Jersey had a representative in the men’s college basketball who showed up big this season and especially so during the NCAA Tournament.

6-foot-3 Alabama graduate student Aaron Estrada is from Woodbury. He played his first three years of high school basketball for Woodbury before transferring to St. Benedict’s for his senior season.

During his junior year at Woodbury, Estrada helped lead the Thundering Herd to the NJSIAA state Group 1 championship.

In his three seasons at Woodbury, he scored 1,570 points (stats according to NJ.com). During Woodbury’s 60-58 state Group 1 championship win over Cresskill in 2018, Estrada led the way with 23 points, six assists and five steals. 

Then Estrada began his nomadic college career. He first attended St. Peter’s where he was the MAAC Rookie of the Year, averaging 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in the 2019-20 season.

Estrada transferred to Oregon for the 2020-21 season and played in 28 games, making 14 starts, but averaged just 12.4 minutes per game.

Next up was Hofstra, where he played for two seasons and was the CAA Player of the Year in both years. 

In the two seasons, he averaged 19.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists. 

Estrada then transferred to Alabama for this season, where he averaged 13.3 points. 

In Alabama’s five NCAA tournament games, he averaged 12.6 points. 

When Alabama beat top seeded North Carolina, 89-87, in a Sweet 16 game, Estrada scored 19 points, shooting 9-for-17 from the field, while adding four rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes. 

Estrada saw his season and career end during last week’s 86-72 loss to UConn in the NCAA semifinal. He performed well in defeat, playing 36 minutes, 42 seconds, the second most on the team.

Estrada scored 13 points, hitting 5-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. He also had three assists and three rebounds.

No, it wasn’t the way he wanted to go out, but he accredited himself well not only that game but during the entire season.

While he didn’t receive the minutes he had hoped for at Oregon, this season, he enjoyed an outstanding season playing in the Southeastern Conference, considered among the best in the country.

Among his other highlights was scoring a season-high 27 points in a 102-80 win over an Indiana State team that advanced to the NIT final this season before losing to Seton Hall.

In the win over Indiana State, Estrada shot 9-for-16 from the field and a sizzling 6-of-8 from three-point range. 

He took a chance when leaving the comfort of Hofstra, and it paid off in a big way, making the long college basketball journey he has taken, well worth it.

Photo courtesy of Alabama Men's Basketball Twitter

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Author: Marc Narducci

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