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  • On high schools: Late bloomer KZ Okpala of Esperanza has a rosy future

    On high schools: Late bloomer KZ Okpala of Esperanza has a rosy future

    Play dance music and 6-foot-8 KZ Okpala will dance. Hand him a basketball and he’ll dribble between his legs like a Harlem Globetrotter. Tell to him improvise and he’ll respond with a shot straight out of a game of H-O-R-S-E. There’s something unusual about Okpala’s skills. It might be because...

  • Boys' basketball: Fairfax holds off Westchester, 60-57

    Boys' basketball: Fairfax holds off Westchester, 60-57

    When his Fairfax High basketball team opened a 19-point lead  Wednesday night, Coach Steve Baik was probably wondering what all the fuss had been about concerning the Lions’ rivalry with Westchester. He quickly found out. Spurred on by a loud, enthusiastic home crowd and strong play from Luis Rodriguez,...

  • The Times' boys' basketball rankings

    The Times' boys' basketball rankings

    A loook at the top 25 high school boys’ basketball teams in the Southland: Rk. School (W-L)  Next opponent (last week’s ranking)  1. CHINO HILLS (18-0) vs. Upland, Tuesday (1)  2. SIERRA CANYON (15-1) vs. La Lumiere (Ind.), Monday in Massachusetts (2)  3. BISHOP MONTGOMERY (16-1) vs. Montverde...

  • Jemarl Baker is proving you can go back home again

    Jemarl Baker is proving you can go back home again

    Back in July, news broke that could have profoundly changed the fortunes of two high school basketball teams. Jemarl Baker, a standout senior guard at Eastvale Roosevelt headed to California, was admitted to school at Santa Ana Mater Dei. A month later, when classes began, Baker showed up at Roosevelt....

  • Bishop Montgomery basketball star Ethan Thompson following in dad and brother's airborne footsteps

    Bishop Montgomery basketball star Ethan Thompson following in dad and brother's airborne footsteps

    Torrance Bishop Montgomery High Coach Doug Mitchell, in his usual squeaky, emphatic voice, was chewing out star basketball player Ethan Thompson in the huddle during a timeout. Thompson looked straight into Mitchell’s eyes and showed no emotion. Then the guard began nodding when an assistant quietly...

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