Shaquille O'Neal is 7 feet 1 and wears size 23 shoes. UCLA freshman Kevin Love is 6-10 and wears size 19 shoes.
So what's the explanation at Beverly Hills High for the strange sight of Jerome Johnson, only 6-2, wearing size 18 shoes?
"He looks like a big guy trapped in a little guy's body," basketball Coach Luis Turcios said.
Johnson is a 17-year-old senior who keeps waiting for his growth spurt. He has fingers almost as long as an ink pen, not to mention broad shoulders and those humongous feet. But since his freshman year, when he went from size 12 to size 18 shoes, he hasn't done much vertical growing.
"I was looking forward to it and kids have expected me to shoot up throughout high school," he said. "I hope it does happen before the season ends."
Turcios is beginning to think that some college coach is eventually going to benefit rather than him.
"Coach told me that Devean George grew nine inches in college," Johnson said, referring to the former Laker.
Johnson's father is 6-8, so there's height in the family to indicate his shoe size is no fluke. The good news is he has learned to dribble like a guard and shoot accurately from outside. And his 240-pound body is big enough to allow him to bang underneath against taller opponents.
With basketball practice beginning Nov. 10, Johnson understands that time is running out to become the big man on campus.
"I'm assuming it's all going to happen at once," he said.
He just doesn't know when.
How many timeouts does it take to distract a kicker? Apparently five isn't enough to disrupt the concentration of Westlake Village Westlake kicker Jordan Mannisto, who made a 50-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Thousand Oaks, 17-14, last week.
His own coach, Jim Benkert, called a timeout with three seconds left. Then Thousand Oaks Coach Mike Leibin, a former Westlake assistant, called three consecutive timeouts. Then Benkert called another.
"Everybody was confused because they thought I was trying to ice my own kicker," Benkert said.
Benkert had decided to go for a fake field goal after Leibin's third timeout. That's why he called another timeout to change his strategy.
Mannisto, who has been the goalie for the soccer team and a top pitcher for the baseball team, was amused by Leibin's tactics.
"He was doing as much as he could to make me not make it," he said.
Leibin said he was calling timeouts not just to make Mannisto miss but out of concern Westlake was changing its formation for a possible fake field goal.
There was a time the top boys' basketball players in the Southland were leaving for colleges on the East Coast. Now it's the top girls' players. Jasmine Dixon from Long Beach Poly and Nikki Speed from Los Angeles Marlborough are headed to Rutgers.
Thousand Oaks baseball Coach Frank Mutz believes his team can be a Southern Section Division I title contender because of his talented one-two pitching duo of Jeff Johnson, headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Chad Smith, headed to USC. Add third baseman Jeff Bandy, who has committed to Arizona, and the Lancers certainly have star power.
Bizarre behavior has been taking place at Franklin High in Stockton, where the football program had been accused of 54 rule violations by the Sac-Joaquin Section for recruitment of players from American Samoa. Last week, Franklin decided to play three ineligible football players in open defiance of CIF rules. Now the football program has been shut down and won't be allowed to play through 2009.
On Thursday, the football coach resigned, one day after a Superior Court judge refused to lift the sanctions and wrote: "The SUSD -- a public school district, no less -- has shown an appalling and reckless disregard for the interests of Franklin's other current players as well as the entire Franklin community."
Oregon has picked up a big commitment from underrated running back Kenjon Barner of Riverside Notre Dame. Barner has rushed for 1,957 yards and scored 23 touchdowns this season.
The City Section girls' golf championships are set for Monday at Encino Golf Course, and the big question is whether anyone can stop the Park family. Daniel Park of LACES won three consecutive City boys' titles, and sister Michelle is going for her second consecutive girls' title. Chatsworth and Venice are favored for the team title.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times