Basketball historians on the Palos Verdes Peninsula may be able to claim a first in National Basketball Assn. annals with the drafting last week of brothers Mark and Jeff Acres.
There have been several brother acts in the NBA and in a couple of cases--most notably that of Tom and Dick Van Arsdale--twins were drafted at the same time, but the Acreses are believed to be the first brothers of different ages to be drafted in the same year. The oddity comes about because Jeff, who graduated from Palos Verdes High a year ahead of Mark, redshirted a year at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa because of an injury.
Mark, a highly regarded 6-11 center-forward, was drafted by Dallas in the second round, the 40th player taken overall. Jeff, a 6-9 guard, was selected by Indiana as the first player in the seventh and final round.
The Oral Roberts duo were joined by another local product in the draft, teammate Sam Potter, who went to Oral Roberts by way of Carson High (with a stop at UC Berkeley). Potter, a good-shooting 6-7 forward, was picked by Houston in the fifth round.
The three give former Carson High Coach Dick Acres, the patriarch of the Acres family, the distinction of coaching three draftees at Oral Roberts plus Potter at Carson.
Another player known locally, Ed Catchings of Nevada-Las Vegas, was Dallas' final selection. Catchings earned all-state honors at El Camino College.
It appears that El Camino College basketball Coach Paul Landreaux will defend his state junior college title with a full deck next season thanks to the signing of four local recruits.
Landreaux, who has won two state titles in five years, returns his front line intact but loses All-American guards Mark Wade and Greg Hill. To replace them he has signed San Pedro High guard Otis Livingston, the Eastern-Marine League co-player of the year; Patrick (P. J.) Wnek of Bishop Montgomery, an all-league shooting guard; Texas-El Paso transfer Larry Lockley, who played at Banning High, and Texas A&M; transfer Phil James, who played at St. Bernard.
Livingston, a mercurial 5-10 point guard who dunked regularly, and Lockley, 6-2, who Landreaux says "can jump out of the gym," are the early favorites to start. Wnek, a fine 6-2 shooter, may be the zone-buster. James, a 6-5 forward, is an outstanding athlete who needs to polish his skills.
James figures to back up returning front-liners Darnell Germany, Roland H'Orvath and Dwayne Lewis, who all started last year, and reserves Dion Wright and Sean Sells.
"You can't replace two All-Americans, but we came as close as you can," Landreaux said. "On paper, we look good."
Several South Bay Special Olympians will compete in the California State Meet this weekend at Berkeley. Carson residents captured 23 first places, 19 seconds and 6 thirds in the area meet recently at Serra High and seven team members will travel to Berkeley: Carol Tate, Connie Collins, Lisa Plotkin, Karen Fontenot, Deirdre Carter, Tina Stanley and Demetria DeAvila.
The Special Olympians compete in a variety of events including sprints, long-distance and wheelchair races, field events, Frisbee throw and softball throw. The Carson septet's trip will be funded by the Southwest Assn. for Retarded Citizens along with the Therapeutic Parents Assn.