PREP NOTES WITH A TWIST

LeBron's new wheels makes us recall what we saw Tyson Chandler driving when he was at Dominguez......De La Salle football loses key coach.....Los Al football loses a game by forfeit......Akeem's daughter plays for winning team.....And more from the best prep notes column in the state.

•Much has been made this week of LeBron James driving around in a brand new $60,000 Hummer. The Akron, Ohio prep basketball superstar, who played at UCLA in a nationally-televised game against Mater Dei of Santa Ana two weeks ago, reportedly received the souped-up SUV as an 18th birthday gift from his mother.
If she got the money to buy the car from an agent, LeBron's eligibility as a high school athlete at St. Vincent-St. Mary High will be in question.
If she got the money from a bank loan (based obviously on future income she'll probably get), is there really anything wrong with it?
LeBron's Hummer brings to mind a sight I'll never forget after Dominguez of Compton played a game at the Nike Extravaganza just two years ago. There was Tyson Chandler, the 7-foot senior from Dominguez, driving away in a Cadillac Escalade, a gold one, with a mighty impressive sound system blaring away.

•Frank Allocco, the De La Salle of Concord basketball coach, was overheard telling his players to congratulate the Long Beach Poly basketball players last week "for finally beating us in something." The Jackrabbits' 55-48 win at the Nike Extravaganza also prompted Poly coach Ron Palmer to tell the media that the result "exhonorates us for what happened in football."

•Speaking of De La Salle football, athletic director Terry Eidson confirmed to the Contra Costa Times that the school's well-known strength training director, Mike Blasquez, has been hired for a similar job at Cal.
Blasquez's work with the football team during the off-season has long been recognized as one of the reasons for the program's success.
Eidson also told the newspaper that the school has not signed up to appear at the RiverFest Rumble in 2004 in Cincinnati, but is considering it. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Spartans had agreed to appear in that event and would likely play Elder of Cincinnati.
But if our own conversations with Eidson and head coach Bob Ladouceur over the years are a guide, the RiverFest Rumble will have to be held much later than the last weekend in August if De La Salle is involved. The Spartans have always wanted to play a more local opponent in their first game and not a much-hyped nationally-known opponent.

•Remember Newhall Hart's desperation touchdown pass that wound up tying Los Alamitos, 21-21, in perhaps the best football game of the year last season? Officially, it never happened.
Hart has been given a forfeit win for that game as Los Alamitos used a player who had not yet officially gained eligibility. The Griffins forfeited no other games as the player in question had the proper paperwork filed in time for the second game. The result changes nothing in the final rankings, just that any and all future references to the two teams' records will have asterisks attached.

•If Windward High of Los Angeles had nine fewer students, you'd be hearing a lot about the Wildcats' girls basketball team this season. The team's 9-2 start has included several impressive outings and it would have been in this week's Div. V state rankings.
The school's enrollment of 200, though, is just above the line so the team is Div. IV and will likely not come close to cracking the top 10 in that loaded division this season. We're still wondering why they ever changed their nickname from Wizards to Wildcats, anyway. The Windward Wizards was one of the best anywhere.

•Akeem Olajuwon never played for a California team during his illustrious NBA career, but his daughter, Abi Olajuwon, is currently playing for 9-3 Marlborough of Los Angeles. Abi's team just beat St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, 49-40.

•Early candidates for Name of the Year in boys basketball would include Aja Ajawanchuku of Hesperia Christian and Yeliya Guyumdhzyan from Marshall of Los Angeles. Aja had 31 pts and seven steals last week in a 83-58 victory over Santa Clarita Christian.

•Before Garces of Bakersfield went to Southern California and lost to Carson, the Rams breezed to an 81-45 league win over Arvin. Why do we mention that? Because Christian Martin of the Rams had a perfect night of shooting, going 6-of-6 on field goals and 4-of-4 from the line.
Central Section historian Bob Barnett says its the seventh perfect game for shooting in section history. And we thought we kept track of everything.


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