The Los Angeles Rockfish, a club team featuring some of the best high school basketball talent in Southern California, is representing the state in the AAU Junior Olympics National Basketball tournament, 17-and-under division in Memphis, Tenn.
Tournament action is scheduled today and Friday, with the championship contest on Saturday.
The Rockfish, coached by David Benezra and Doug Mitchell, competed in two spring leagues, Slam-n'-Jam and American Roundball Court, winning both. In addition, the squad won a local AAU tournament to earn the right to go the national event. In all, the Rockfish compiled a 24-2 record against all-star competition.
According to Benezra, every player on the team is a major college prospect. Earl Duncan (6-3) of St. Monica in Santa Monica and Scott Williams (6-10) of Wilson High in Hacienda Heights, figure to be two of the most sought-after players in the nation.
Duncan is regarded by some as the top player in the state and in the top 10 nationally and Williams is rated as high as the 15th best player in the U.S. by one basketball publication.
Rounding out the team are Kevin Holland (6-8) of Cerritos, Steve Florentine (6-7) of Redondo, Keith Billingley (6-3) of South Gate; Mark Rudolph (6-0) of Crossroads in Santa Monica; Derek Strong (6-8) and Victor Malbrough (6-6), both of Palisades High; Michael Courtney (6-5) of Westchester, and Eric Jordan (6-2) of Inglewood. All will be seniors in the fall.
There are two juniors on the team, Barry Howard (6-5) of Etiwanda and Josh Oppenheimer (5-11) of Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks.