Six Degrees of Separation- Hoop Style

Golden State takes a closer look at Merced's Allen Huddleston...

Six degrees of Separation ("The Human Web") is the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person that they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the other people they know, then everyone, no matter where you are at, is at most six steps away from any other person on the planet. Sounds a little hokey? Well…

I was e-mailing a friend back east, Paul Tsang, of Tsang Design ( He married one of my college friends. Anyway, we were talking about a host of things, including how athletes brand themselves as a marketing tool. Paul is a talented graphics artist living in New York, but grew up and played high school basketball at Merced High School – so I found out. Paul was one of the first Asian basketball players at Merced High School and stays connected to his old community.

Well Paul mentioned that one of his high school friends has a son that played at Merced High school, and he sent me a link on this player. The player turns out to be Merced H.S. superstar Allen Huddleston.  What's even more intriguing is my own son played against Huddleston for two seasons. I had taken pics of the two contests, one away game and one home game.

As I continued to read about Huddleston I started to realize how special this young man was. Huddleston averaged 31.5 points, finishing second in the state in scoring.

He scored 32 points, or more, in seven straight games. He cored 35 or more eight times, and had 50 points against power house Modesto Christian, which meant he had to put in some work against Modesto Christians', UCLA Bound, man of steel -Reeves Nelson. Reeves Nelson scored 39 points as well in that game, which was a season high for him, against Merced High School.

Nelson seen here at a Cal camp tournament. He simply dominated the event and must have given Merced H.S. a difficult time under, and around, the boards.

Allen helped Merced win its third straight Central California Conference title and they eventually reached the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. This was Merced's first appearance at Arco Arena in over 10 years.

Allen Huddleston giving my name sake, Herby Lissade in white, a little push as he drives towards the basket. It's all good !

Allen's career high total of 2,117 points is the new school record. Huddleston eclipsed former Merced player, UCLA Bruin and NBA star Gerald Madkins on the Merced High School all-time scoring chart.

Huddleston committed to the University of the Pacific(U.O.P.) and signed the letter of intent last year.  Here's wishing you the best of luck.

Xavier Thames, in white, looking for the steal against Allen. Xavier was committed to Washington State, but with Coach Tony Bennett leaving to Coach at Virginia he may want to exercise his options.

Allen tries to power in for two between Glenn Akerland and Herby Lissade.

Side by side - 21 times 2. Herby Lissade in white has moved on to study engineering at Fresno State, while Allen will continue his basketball career at U.O.P. It truly is a small world. Hmm .. Maybe there is something to this "Six Degrees of Separation" ? .. Nah !!

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